• Outraged homeowners dig into their own pockets to fight developers

    By: David Ham


    A group of homeowners that live in the Benchview area of West Seattle is spending more than $30,000 to fight developers.

    “We have to put our money together we take money out of retirement accounts take money out of  hire a lawyer so we could go to King County Superior Court,” said David Allen of the Benchview Neighborhood Association.

     He wouldn’t say how much each homeowner contributed but said that 22 homeowners chipped in more than $30,000 for the lawsuit. 

    They are suing the city of Seattle, and developers to make sure 3 houses do not get built on one property. 

    Right now there is an existing house, a house being built and a garage at the corner of Southwest Manning and 55th Avenue Southwest. Developers want to build a new 3 story house where the garage sits right now. 

    "We all see the situation here to see how we would be hammered by the developer who would get to do this personal rezone to increase his property values and the rest of our property values would go down," said Allen. 

    At a court hearing a city attorney argued city planners objectively made the decision to grant a lot boundary adjustment for the developer to split the land into three parcels to build three houses. 

    An attorney for the developers asked the judge to dismiss the case. The judge did not move to dismiss the case.

    The developers of the project declined to comment. 

    "The developer has access to all these obscure loopholes and the city works with them in a way where you end up with a ridiculous outcome where you have three houses where we all knew it should be two houses," said Allen. 

    "A tall skinny house doesn't fit in our neighborhood and it does block it will block our view and it will block several people’s views," said Pam Warren who lives next to the construction. 

    A judge did not make a ruling on the case on Friday, but said she would make a decision sometime soon.

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