Battle heating up in Wallingford over controversial development

SEATTLE -- A battle is brewing between residents in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood, the city and a well known developer, and it all centers around a proposed apartment complex.

Wallingford residents claim the city and a developer are ignoring their concerns, especially when it comes to the safety of families.

All parties will come together Wednesday night at the Good Shepard Center to try to hash out a plan everyone can live with.

Jim Fryett is leading the charge for more than 150 other Wallingford residents who oppose a proposal to build two large apartment buildings in the middle of their neighborhood.

"We're saying that's not acceptable to us," Fryett said. "It's very frustrating."

Every time Fryett or others in the area have voiced their concerns about the project, they claim the city and the developer, AMLI, don't seem to care.

"We are unsure we're being heard," Fryett said.

When it's built, the new complex will play home to 224 units that cover a full block just north of Wallingford Avenue, plus most of the block to the south.

Fryett and others don't like the size of the complex and they don't think it's going to fit the look or feel of the neighborhood. They fear the developer won't include any shops or stores on the first floor of the complex that could benefit the rest of the community.

They also hate that the only way in or out of the complex's parking garage will be along Burke Avenue, which they say is a quiet street where kids often play.

Fryett is asking AMLI to consider the neighborhood's concerns.

"We're going to be here in 20-years, and we know they're not," he said.

AMLI didn't return phone calls for comment on the story, but its website says the company specializes in multi-family, high value apartments.

A city spokesperson has encouraged Fryett and others to share their concerns and said all of their comments will be reviewed.

Fryett now worries the city will approve AMLI's plans and issue a building permit without any input from people who actually live in the neighborhood.

"It makes you feel skeptical about the whole process," he said.

Fryett is expecting more than 100 people at Wednesday meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.