After considerable discussion over the last five months with the Physical Space Implementation Team (PSIT), the City of Seattle has determined that UUC will not be permitted to demolish the three brick houses for non-required parking, as proposed in our Master Use Permit. Although a setback to our design, we will modify our plan to accommodate this decision. These modifications include filing with the City for a change of use for the houses, redesigning the parking lot, and as necessary, resequencing the construction plan while staying on the original timeline.
PSIT’s first action in response to the City’s decision was to apply to change the houses’ recorded use from Single Family Residence to Accessory Church Building. This use designation is consistent with UUC’s historical use of the buildings and its ongoing strategic plan.
After much discussion and exploration with our project partners, PSIT concluded the best approach in light of the City’s determination is to convert the houses to storage. This eases the pressure on our limited storage options in the main building and allows the greatest flexibility for future expansion. Converting to storage is also the most cost-effective approach to retaining the structures.
PSIT and our architects (Hacker) are looking at alternative parking lot designs that would accommodate the footprints of the houses while providing the 72 parking spaces that the City has deemed are required. While the redesign will not significantly change the layout of the parking lot from the way it is today, it will allow improvements to paving, lighting, safety, ease of use, and surface-water management wherever possible.
Finally, PSIT and our general contractor (BNBuilders) will reevaluate the budget and scheduling for the building project to allow the necessary investments in the houses to convert them to code-compliant storage, while having as little impact on the project schedule for the main church building as possible.
PSIT will present these design and project changes to the congregation as they become available in April and May. If you have any questions or requests for available details on any of the matters outlined above, please contact PSIT through our online form under “Share Your Thoughts” on PSIT’s webpage or by speaking with a PSIT member in the social hall on Sundays.