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Disposition of seven former substation properties in northwest Seattle

City Light properties considered for disposition

City Light owns seven properties in Ballard/Loyal Heights/Crown Hill/Phinney Ridge that the utility no longer uses for providing electric service to Seattle and the larger service territory. City Light is considering selling or transferring the properties for full market value.

The property disposition process
Property locations
History
Condition of the properties
Value of the properties
Legal requirements
Community information meeting
Public hearing

The property disposition process

State law requires City Light to receive full and fair market value for any  property sold. The Mayor’s Office and City Council established in Resolution 34124 the procedural requirements for the disposition of City Light Property. Requirements outline that the utility must:

  • Circulate notification to other departments and agencies
  • Attend and present at community group meetings
  • Host a community meeting and a public hearing with specific notice requirements. (held in the respective neighborhood during evening hours)
    • City Light staff will explain statutory constraints in disposing of utility properties and transferring to other City Departments
    • Parks and Recreation Department will explain their process
    • The Department of Construction and Inspection will explain zoning details
    • SDOT will answer questions about the traffic and parking impacts from possible future development
  • Post the property disposition on the City Light website
  • Consider any public uses recommended by the public
  • Transmit of all accumulated public comments and City Light recommendations to City Council, after notice to all commenters

The full text of Resolution 31424 can be found here

Property location



Site Name

Address

Area, SF

Zoning

1. North Beach

9407 19th Ave NW

6,600

SF7200

2. Loyal Heights

7750 28th Ave NW

8,158

L-2

3. Sunset

3209 NW 65th St

6,300

NC1-30

4. Ballard

6730 24th Ave NW

5,100

L-2   

5. Monroe

1407 NW 65th St

4,000

L-3

6. Leary

1414 NW Leary Way

8,800

IG2-U65

7. Phinney

6109 Phinney Ave N

6,000

NC2-40

Map

Pictures

North Beach

 

 

Loyal Heights

News: The City’s Office of Housing has indicated to City Light that they are interested in acquiring this subject to the outcome of an appraisal and the resolution of outstanding technical details. OH would intend to issue an RFP for affordable housing development on the site.

City Light will continue its public comment process on this site and the other six sites.


 

Sunset

 



 

Ballard

 

Monroe

 

 

Leary

 

 

 

Phinney

News: The City’s Office of Housing has indicated to City Light that they are interested in acquiring this subject to the outcome of an appraisal and the resolution of outstanding technical details. OH would intend to issue an RFP for affordable housing development on the site.

City Light will continue its public comment process on this site and the other six sites.

 

 


History

The properties were used for substations when City Light used many little substations to send out 4,000 volts along the neighborhood utility poles. Now City Light uses fewer, larger substations that send out 26,000 volts along the neighborhood utility poles. Over the years City Light has been slowly selling off these unneeded smaller substation sites.

Condition of the properties

All the properties have had their substation equipment removed. Only one site (Leary) has an intact building still on the site. One site (North Beach) has a free-standing wall. Many sites have remnants of concrete pads and all the sites have at least a portion fenced off. Each site has had or will have any environmental contamination identified and removed prior to any sale or transfer.

Value of the properties

The true market value of the properties depend on size and zoning. The total value of the seven sites is estimated to be around $4.5M.

Legal requirements

Several Washington State laws govern how City Light may sell properties the utility owns.
RCW 35.94.040 states that “Whenever a city shall determine, by resolution of its legislative authority, that any lands, property, or equipment originally acquired for public utility purposes is surplus to the city's needs and is not required for providing continued public utility service, then such legislative authority by resolution and after a public hearing may cause such lands, property, or equipment to be leased, sold, or conveyed. Such resolution shall state the fair market value or the rent or consideration to be paid and such other terms and conditions for such disposition as the legislative authority deems to be in the best public interest.”

RCW 43.09.210 states in part that “All … property transferred from, one department, public improvement, undertaking, institution, or public service industry to another, shall be paid for at its true and full value by the department, public improvement, undertaking, institution, or public service industry receiving the same, and no department, public improvement, undertaking, institution, or public service industry shall benefit in any financial manner whatever by an appropriation or fund made for the support of another.”

Together these statutes require that City Light needsto receive fair market value from any other government department or agency that might want to acquire the property. There are also several recent court decisions that underscore the inability for the electric utility to subsidize general government activity (Okesen v. City of Seattle, Lane v. City of Seattle.)

Community information meeting

City Light will host a community information meeting to answer questions about the  disposition of these properties at 7:00 pm on November 6, 2017 at the Ballard First Lutheran Church 2006 NW 65th St. in Seattle. Representatives of various City departments will be available to answer questions about the alternatives. The meeting will be preceded by a community open house from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at which a range of City departments will share information about other City projects affecting the northwest Seattle community.

Public hearing

City Light will host a public hearing on the properties and the disposition alternatives at 7:00 pm on November 16, 2017 at the community information meeting at Ballard First Lutheran Church 2006 NW 65th St.: The purpose of the public hearing is to take testimony about City Light’s property disposition alternatives. (This will be the public hearing that will comply with the requirements of RCW 35.94.040.)

Opportunities for the public to comment on the proposal and/or to indicate interest in being notified of actions taken on the site

  • Attend the community information meeting on November 6 to ask questions and/or to sign up on the interest/notification list.
  • Attend the public hearing on November 16 to offer testimony and/or to sign up on the interest/notification list
  • You may e-mail your comments and/or indicate your interest in being notified of actions taken on the site at SCL_RealProperty@seattle.gov
  • You may share your comments and/or indicate your interest in being notified of actions taken on the site via U.S. Mail sent to:

    Timothy Croll
    Seattle City Light
    700 Fifth Ave
    Suite 3316
    Seattle WA, 98104

  • Comments must be received by November 17, 2017 to be included in the record developed for the City Council.
Related Content

Administrative Fees for Use Permits, Leases, Consents, and Easements

The Department may charge administrative fees for processing each application.

contact us

City Light can answer your questions about property usage by phone (206-684-3312) or email.



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    P.O. Box 34023
    Seattle, WA 98124-4023


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