Ballard residents unhappy with new neighbor

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by AMY MORENO / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 24 at 9:36 AM

SEATTLE -- A big controversy over small housing units has some Ballard neighbors upset.  A home on NW 58th Street is being torn down and 43 tiny apartments will take its place.

Neighbors are concerned about the lack of parking, property values and the environmental impact on this street.  The developer says he's trying to offer more affordable housing, but neighbors fear it will cost them their sense of community. 
 
Joe Walton has lived in the area for 22 years and said it’s been hard watching the neighborhood change.  Seeing the old house torn down is even tougher.  “It was a beautiful place,” he explained “the last grand old home on the block.”
 
The house is more than a hundred years old and Walton believes she still had a lot of life.  “It's sturdy, it's putting up a fight right now” he said.
 
Some neighbors are less upset about what they’re losing and more concerned about what’s taking its spot.
 
“Literally changing the whole nature of the neighborhood,” Bruce Meyers said.  
 
Meyers says they wouldn’t mind regular apartments or townhouses, but they don’t like these micro unit apartments.
 
Rents for the tiny units will run about $640 a month, including utilities.  The cost if far below other apartments in the area and the developer says he's proud to bring affordable housing to the neighborhood.
 
Robert Dedon says he tried to reach out to concerned residents and make the construction process as painless as possible.  
 
The city council has said it’s going to review regulations on these micro-housing buildings.  
 
Neighbors realize it’s probably too late to stop the work in their neighborhood and fear their sense of community will take a hit.  
 
“It's really not a neighborhood anymore, it's more like an ant-farm with too many people crowded in,” Walton explained.

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