Wallingford Community Council lifts appeal of development project

Four days before their scheduled hearing, the Wallingford Community Council has cut a deal with Skanska USA and will be lifting its appeal of the developer's Stone34 project in exchange for help improving the neighborhood's access to Lake Union.

The Community Council appealed all facets of the project, from its design to its environmental impacts, in October.

The five-story, 65-foot development at 3400 Stone Way North - the future home of Brooks Sports - will be 20 feet taller than anything else allowed in the area thanks to exceptions made by the Seattle City Council for eco-friendly buildings designated as "Deep Green."

In the past, Wallingford Community Council President Lee Raaen has accused Skanska USA of taking advantage of special privileges given by the City Council without worrying about community interests.

And while many attendees at public meetings for Stone34 supported the project, some Wallingford and Fremont residents expressed concern that it was too big for the neighborhood and would block views of Lake Union.

With the Community Council's appeal withdrawn, Skanska USA is free is begin construction on the project this year.

The developer will also begin working with the Wallingford Community Council on improving neighborhood access to the Lake Union waterfront. It's a goal the Community Council has had for a while, though no specific plans are available yet.

"On behalf of the Wallingford Community Council, we look forward to working with Skanska to create a great community asset that realizes a long-term desire for better public access to the Lake Union lakeshore," Raaen said in a press release. "We are pleased that Skanska was very engaged and willing to work with the community in find a solution that resolved our dispute."