Board votes 6-3 to landmark Ballard Denny’s building

dennys1 1For those who have been watching Benaroya vs. Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board were probably not surprised by the outcome of today’s vote. The Landmarks board’s 6-3 vote to designate the exterior of Ballard Denny’s a city landmark did little to signify anything except give opposition another Trojan Horse to attack future development.

My problem with this vote is not to say opposition is not free to their opinion. Instead the Seattle Landmarks Preservation board’s vote was a perfect example of putting personal feelings in front of political freedoms.

The Fifth Amendment ends saying, “…nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

13 thoughts on “Board votes 6-3 to landmark Ballard Denny’s building

  1. The decision is a manifestation of the public backlash of “development for development’s sake” without regard to the health of community, affordability of living space, and the disregard of a community’s sense of continuity and history by so many that feel that profit is above everyone else’s rights.

    It is worth pointing out that no where is the property being appropriated for public use. Property is regulated all the time, and in fact, the commercial real estate industry has been profiting from the changing of regulation in zoning in Seattle over the past few years. Tyranny is a little bit of a stretch, when the regulators have been fairly hands off in the development of the credit/real estate bubble.

    If you are advocating free-capitalism that is one thing. But the US was not founded on the principle that free-capitalism is a right. Organizations are not endowed the same rights as individuals by our creator. Couching an argument in favor of that under the guise of objecting to the eroding of political rights is not very convincing, when considering the undermining of so many other rights explicitly outlined in the constitution.

  2. I’m torn about this ruling because with the preservation of that landmark there is the possibility that the rundown properties next to it will continue to exist and blight the neighborhood. With the restriction of not building to the corner it may not be economically viable for a developer to recast that into a good space, but perhaps they’ll come up with something interesting and surprise us all.

  3. The NW corner of 65th and Market was green lighted for public development, a monorail station, but runs afoul when slated for private development? While I find Seattle to be overegulated, zoning and oversight have their place and play a role. But this is over the top to any reasonable person. New sidewalks where there were none, set asides for open space, modulation of structures to avoid rows on rows of flat tall boxes, are all good things that builders would not do on their own. Calling that Denny’s anything more than an oddity is a misuse of landmark status and waters down landmarking for when it’s really needed. That goofy structure can be properly memorialized in a coffee table book.

  4. Maybe a top level rotating Denny’s. You could incorporate that crazy roofline. Or perhaps the Doghouse could be revived and put there. That was good 24 hour grub.

  5. Doug wrote:

    “Maybe a top level rotating Denny’s”

    We already have such a place, it’s called the Space Needle and it serves even crapier food. Thank God it’s not open 24 hours a day!! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Freedom Isn’t Free « The Notorious R.O.B.

  7. doug in seattle-
    I agree with you and I think it is funny that prior to the same people who wanting Denny’s to be a Landmark voted in favor of the monorail. So if it works in your favor vote YES, but if a developer is going to make money improving an area, the answer is NO.
    If anyone is THAT against future development, stop buying the townhomes. There is NO QUICKER way to stop future development than to stop buying the product.

  8. Funny…It is OK to flatten Denny’s for public use in this case transportation. It isn’t Ok to flatten Denny’s for private development.

    Just another example of the public’s decision to take away economic value of real property from a private owner through regulation for the common good of the public without accepting responsibility to pay for it. Seattle is becoming more statist.

    And, no I am not a republican.

  9. Its all poo poo I tell you.
    This Developer paid 10 to15 Million for this land.
    His payments are due. The property taxes are being formulated for a R48 Zoning. The city is collecting taxes on the full value but they wont let him develop. What about Owner rights? Its not about profits but about affordable housing and public transportation.
    I was excited when I read in the Seattle times that the property was sold to a develper. I said to myself that that is the ugliest building in Seattle and I am Glad that is was finaly being developed.
    Norm Rice would love a new building so close to downtown to house so many people so why wont they let him. Move on with this idealisting thinking of preservacy when everything around us is changing. I remember when 520 was a single lane street heading from Bellevue into Redmond. Change is inevitable people get on with it.

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