July 19, 2019
The Whittier project that required a CUP to go from four-stories (56 feet) to six-stories (73.3 feet) and seven variances is hitting a roadblock.
Going against recommendations from city staffers, the Planning Commission approved the six-story, 146-unit apartment building at 26th & Blaisdell. The area is zoned for four-stories now, but when 2040 is in place the zoning will reduce to three-stories. The details of this project are here.
While the six speakers in favor of the project at the Planning Commission hearing on July 8th were mostly from the Whittier Alliance neighborhood organization, there were also several neighbors to the West who spoke out against the project.
Prior to the hearing, the nearby neighbors organized a meeting without the assistance or involvement of the Whittier Alliance—who appeared to be unconcerned regarding the impact to its residents. For example, none of the immediate neighbors (those most impacted) were aware of the development proposal (or Whittier’s final position on the matter) until receiving by mail the Notice Of a Public Hearing, dated June 21.
Neighbor Tom Tulien was not satisfied with the alleged "extensive community engagement process" that the Whittier Alliance touted at the hearing in testimony. He also had several legal challenges to the project, which breaks multiple laws and city ordinances as described in his Appeal: