Collectively, we three Wyman Sisters have lived 166 years on Madison Street: Broadmoor, Madison Park, Washington Park, Canterbury, and Madison Valley. We used to shop at Clifton’s Nursery before City People’s Garden Store moved into that same space. We are not unique; Madison Street is lined with wonderful neighborhoods to grow up in, raise families, and retire.

Once alerted that the City People’s site was proposed for development, we turned our attention to the initial sketch. The draft looked like the Kingdome had returned and landed! Plans for a 140-car garage, a full-size supermarket topped with 82 market-rate apartments dwarfed all surrounding structures, nullifying any effort to fit into the surrounding neighborhood.

We have attended all the Design Review meetings.  We listened to former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck, now Port Commissioner, point out repeatedly the development’s violations of city codes and of Seattle’s protections for the environment laid out in “Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan for Managing Growth for a Sustainable Seattle.” We now refer to this project as “The Madison Mess.” An attorney for Save Madison Valley (SMV) described it: “The proposal does not respond in a complimentary or supportive way to the built features of the …neighborhood. Instead, it looms over… like a fortress on a hill.”

City People’s is the center of this commercial area on Madison. To take its vibrant, friendly, and peaceful presence away and replace it with this project as planned will change this corridor completely.  From the appeal filed by SMV: “Grocery stores are one of the most traffic intensive uses in an urban environment. The unique characteristics of the project site and the design and use of the commercial entrance on East Madison Street will cause significant safety and congestion issues. The entrance will operate at an LOS F [level of service: F, for failure] with major delays. The design of the loading dock will create serious conflicts between cars entering the site and trucks using the loading area. The entrance and exit do not even meet minimal safety requirements of the Seattle code.” We were shocked and dismayed that the city’s response was to give the developer everything he wanted, and add a year-round traffic flagger—forever!

We care about our community and have enjoyed watching it grow.  None of us expects or wants things to remain the same forever.  But all three of us, like many of you, want growth that enhances our community and improves it.  We feel certain that this proposed colossus along the Madison Street corridor will not accomplish this.  That’s why we have decided to support Save Madison Valley – because it’s actually also Saving Madison Park, Saving Washington Park and Broadmoor. It’s not too late to become informed and involved, and join us in financially supporting this effort to have a better, more appropriate development for East Madison Street. SMV is carrying the torch for all of us and they cannot succeed without our support.

- Deehan Wyman, Virginia Wyman and Ann Wyman