Big Changes for Short Term Rentals along Beach Drive and Alki

If you or someone you know owns or operates a vacation rental along Beach Drive or along Alki, you may want to let them know about regulations that are going into effect January 1, 2019 that will prohibit short term vacation rentals on waterfront homes and potentially including homes within 200 feet of Puget Sound.

We believe this is an unintended consequence from the City of Seattle labeling short term vacation rentals as “commercial lodging” which is not permitted per the shoreline code. This includes detached single family residences, condos, apartments and homes that are within 200 feet of the high water mark of Puget Sound (homes across the street from Puget Sound could be included). Other areas may be included as well if they are within the shoreline management restricted areas.

From the City of Seattle – one of their many pages regarding Short Term Rentals (aka “STR”s):

“Floating on-water residences, waterfront residences, and other areas where lodging activities are prohibited by the Shoreline Code

We have owned and operated a short term vacation rental on Beach Drive for a couple of years. We are saddened that it looks like we will no longer be able to offer Beach Drive Bungalow as a vacation rental. Many of our guests over the years have been from neighbors and other Seattle-ites with visiting families.

Many who have owned and operated vacation rentals near the shoreline in Seattle may not know about this snafu. To our knowledge, there has been no notifications from the vacation rental platforms, like VRBO/Homeaway or AirbNb nor from the City of Seattle (unless you visit their website and try to make sense of the shoreline code).

I reached out weeks ago to our City Council. Today, I received my first response from a representative for O’Brien who stated:

“Thanks so much for reaching out to Councilmember O’Brien on this issue.  I am sorry for the complicated and confusing nature of our code and that your property is no longer eligible as a STR.  After looking into it a bit, my understanding is that this is due to the shoreline code – lodging activities are prohibited in Floating on-water residences, waterfront residences, and in specific shoreline environments.  This was not a policy choice about waterfront locations specifically but rather just making it explicit that defining short-term rentals as a lodging use (and not a residential use) means prohibiting STRs where lodging uses are prohibited by the shoreline code.   To modify this would require amending the shoreline code which typically requires working with and approval by the Department of Ecology.

Sorry to not have a more hopeful response for you.  Have you considered renting the property as a long-term rental?”

No response yet from our West Seattle rep, Lisa Herbold.

We do plan on reaching out to the Department of Ecology.

If you have questions, you can email: str@seattle.gov.

Do you have a rental property on Beach Drive? Read this!

The Seattle City Council created an ordinance that requires all rental properties be registered with the city of Seattle. This rolled out a few years ago and, if you’re like me, you may recall hearing about it and assumed it was for folks who had multiple rental properties and did not apply to those who just have one rental or a mother-in-law apartment they’re renting out…WRONG!

The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (aka RRIO) requires all rental properties, including attached dwelling units (aka mother-in-law apartments) to be registered with the City of Seattle.

The deadlines to register your Seattle rental home depends on the zip code the property is located in.  Beach Drive rentals with a zip code of 98116 have until September 30, 2015 to register their rentals. Rental properties with a zip code of 98136 have until June 30, 2016 to register.

 

The cost to register a 1-unit rental is $175. The penalties to not register your rental home are a steep $150 per day for the first 10 days, climbing to $500 per day after that.

The city will also require that your rental be inspected by either a City inspector or one that you hire (who has been approved by the City).

 

I recently wrote about this on my other blog and I’ve been surprised at how many Seattle landlords are not aware of this ordinance.

So if you have a rental unit in the City of Seattle, you need to learn more about RRIO. For more information or to register your property, click here.

Check out the back door on these 100 year olds!

While 2013 featured only one Beach Drive home (and a lighthouse) turning 100, this year needs enough candles for a half-dozen! Check ’em out…

 

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This Lowman Beach Cottage remembers when Lincoln Park was named Fauntleroy Park prior to 1922.

 

 

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One of my favs to be sure on the 5000 block.

 

 

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An extensive remodel in 2009 but the bones are unmistakably 1914. Being nestled right up against Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, I’m pretty certain it witnessed some pretty swank Schmitz parties!

 

 

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This gem is so well hidden these days, I had to use a county photo from 2003.

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This most northern 100 yo on Beach Drive may have a 1914 sports page in the attic featuring the Boston Braves sweep of the Philadelphia A’s, 1st sweep in World Series history.

 

 

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Think it knows it was built the same year as the Smith Tower??

 

 

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This is one of those beauties that sits down from the street south of where the Peavey Saw Mill used to reside on Alki Ave. (now named Beach Drive).

 

*A majority of these photos were lifted off the King County Dept of Assessments site.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Did you ever see “Spot Run” on Beach Drive?

If you lived around Beach Drive SW in the 50’s & 60’s, one of these children’s book characters may have been modeled after you!

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As it turns out, a famous author named Elizabeth Rider Montgomery lived in this home located in the 4800 block of Beach Drive SW. 

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The address has changed around a  little but this is where Elizabeth wrote/collaborated on many of her books.

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Moved onto Beach Drive with her husband Norman in 1/8/49

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Moved out with second husband on 12/14/1972 (ok, my title insurance background is rearing it’s head again) 

Among many other publications to her name, Elizabeth co-authored on several of the iconic Dick and Jane book series. The first coming in 1940… 

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Ms Montgomery landed a staff writer position with the Scott Foresman Company and published 14 more books as well as a series entitled Heath for All between 1940-1965.

A more complete bio of the author and her life’s work can be found at this site published by Western Washington University where she enrolled in 1925 when it was then called Washington Normal School.  The West Seattle Herald also published an excellent story about her in December of 1969.

She passed in 1985 and is buried next to her husband in Poulsbo’s city cemetery.

It just goes to show you, it’s good to know…

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Book #4 of her Health for All series 

Special Note: The long time current resident of this home informed me that she purchased the home back 1987 from the, at the time, manager of  famous Seattle area rock group Queensryche! He also played a key role (founder) in opening Easy Street Records at the “Junction”. 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Back to business for 4029 Beach Drive SW!

It's great to see one of our favorite old buildings on Beach Drive coming back to life as a small business again!  My wife and I ran into a couple of friendly guys moving stuff into this iconic location as we were taking a stroll north along the Drive. Being nosey bloggers that we are, we had to ask what was up?

A gentleman named Norm told me that he was planning to run his law practice out of the front of the space and use the back as a residence. He also told us he will do everything he can to keep the character of the circa 1928, 1610 sq ft space and was shooting for May 1st to be open for biz.

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Norm was gracious enough to let me take a few pics of the inside and around back of the historic building which can be viewed here

Want to know some history about the place? I knew you did!

An excerpt from Memories of Southwest Seattle Businesses describes the establishment at the northwest corner of Beach Drive SW and Carroll Street from the vantage point of what is now LaRustica Restaurant…

"Diagonally across the street at the northend of Weather Watch park, is another small storefront building. In the 50's it was a beverage store. They sold beer and wine and mixers, but no hard liquor. My friend Claudia Hickerson Moter lived there with her parents, Lyle and Juddy Hickerson. Lyle was seattle fireman stationed in North Admiral, and Juddy ran the store. The big street-side room was the store, with their living quarters at the back and below."


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This archive photo from the King County Assessor's Office shows the apartments next door (prior to current brick siding) with another small store-front at street level.

 

As you can see from this Seattle zoning map from 1923, this particular intersection of Beach Drive was full of small businesses in "the day"…


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The checkered section of this 1923 zoning map signifies "Business District" while the stripes stand for "Second Residences". 


Hmmm, Law office or Beer & Wine store? Law Office or Beer & Wine store? Oh well, either way…welcome to Beach Drive Norm!  


Scupper reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Tidelines with Waterfront Properties

With a low tide of -2 this afternoon at 11:55 this morning, many folks venture out to the tidelands.  If you live on the water, do you know how much of the tidelands you own? Tim Daniels, Chief Title Officer with The Talon Group, explains how legal descriptions work  in this short video: Seattle Tidelands.  This video was actually filmed just off Beach Drive.