Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood



December 9, 2005



Bob Wicklein

The Seneca Real Estate Group

1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2350

Seattle, Washington  98101


Re:  Preliminary Comments on Landscape Buffer Plan


Dear Bob:


Based on the design workshop with neighbors on November 19, the Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees appreciates the progress made in filling in details about the building, façade, materials, operation and lighting.  We believe those elements of the design will work out favorably.


We are also satisfied with the wetlands proposal, and expect the interpretive area to be a significant attraction on the site.


Regarding landscaping plans, we are pleased with the consideration given to preserving two trees on the east access road, numbered 218 and 219.  If parking stalls can be rearranged to save that cedar and Douglas fir, the view north and south along the road would be much better.


In the non-disturbance area on the east side of the property, several trees were removed as part of routine maintenance.  These trees will be replaced, but we should understand the intended level of screening, what sight lines we want to consider, and seasonal questions which affect deciduous and evergreen species.  Since the non-disturbance area is a steep slope and many trees will be removed inside the property to provide parking, we will need more detail in the final landscape plan for that area.


At the northeast corner of the property, a row of pine trees will be removed.  We talked about adding trees at the edge of the parking spaces just north of the pine trees.  Those would improve the sight line from the north, after the pine trees are removed.


In the northwest corner of the property, the cedar and oak labeled 84 and 85, seem to be marked for removal based on the new roadway and sidewalk.  Those trees currently frame the northwest entrance to the property.  We appreciate the attention shown in reviewing that area to preserve those large and impressive trees.  If the sidewalk is at issue, perhaps it could be re-routed to the south of the two trees.


While we did not discuss it in the neighborhood meeting or in the walk-around, we also ask that tree number 112, a tall Lombardy Poplar, be reconsidered for preservation to provide additional visual relief where the curved part of the main building approaches the west property boundary.


At the design workshop, speakers mentioned "succession planning" especially where the cottonwoods are approaching the end of their expected lives on the west side of the development.  Since one of those cottonwoods died last year and was removed, we expect to see the succession plan in the final landscaping plan.


Based on recent discussions, we understand that we will be included in the final landscaping process, which will have a level of detail down to specific species and locations of trees, and explanation of design goals such as which sight lines are important, how trees are expected to serve in terms of screening, lighting, noise mitigation, and seasonal questions which would affect choice of deciduous/evergreen trees.


            Thank you for considering our comments.  We look forward to reviewing the final plan.




Jeannie Hale, President                                     Stan Sorscher, LCC Battelle Chair

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE                                  3716 NE 43rd Street

Seattle, Washington  98105                                          Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631                              206-255-4393 / 425-355-2883