A thing to remember when moving into high-rise, another high-rise

Sep 16, 2011

If you're considering moving into a high-rise condo or apartment in Seattle for the views of Puget Sound, the Space Needle or mountain ranges, you might want to keep this in mind: City regulations do not protect private views, only public views.

This is a lesson being learned the hard way by residents of the Cosmopolitan high-rise in the Denny Triangle, according to a story in Seattlepi.com. Residents there have already had one building go up a mere 18 feet from them and now another tower has been approved for construction.

On Monday, Seattle's Department of Planning and Development approved the construction of a 39-story tower with 380 residential units above 3,507 sq. ft. of retail at ground floor. Parking for 350 vehicles to be provided within the structure and 29 work studios at the parking levels.

The Seattlepi.com reports that the new building, if it goes up, would come after another skyscraper aggrieved condo owners in the Cosmopolitan several years ago. Many owners had banked on gorgeous city views in 2005 when they bought at the Cosmo, a 33-floor highrise of 190 units.

A spokesperson for the city sent along this important conclusion the department made when approving the new high-rise:

"The proposed structure is not anticipated to affect views of the mountains, downtown skyline or major bodies of water from designated public places, including Four Columns Park, the closest viewpoint that could potentially be affected. The proposed building is also not anticipated to block public views of identified historic landmarks from designated locations. Finally, the proposed structure is not anticipated to affect views of the Space Needle from the Viaduct, Interstate 5, the downtown skyline or other designated viewpoint location. The proposed action would affect cross-site views from residential dwellings and office buildings located proximate to the subject site. However, private views are not protected by City regulations."

"It will block us out completely. It will completely take out all our views," one resident told the PI.

The price of developing urban density: Looking at each other 300 feet in the sky.