Yakima Neighborhoods Opposed to Senior Luxury ApartmentsPosted: Updated:
YAKIMA, Wash - Heated comments against plans for senior luxury apartments in Yakima were heard by the Regional Planning Commission Wednesday night. In order for the upscale apartments to be built, the city would have to change the zoning of the proposed area at South 24th and Mead Avenue. The people who live in the nearby Hamilton Park area say the apartments just wouldn't fit into the community of single-family homes. Neighbors are also concerned about increased traffic in the area and pedestrians safety.
The Seattle developer, Michael Kim, due to flight issues was not able to make it to the hearing, but wrote a letter to be read to the audience. He was trying to answer what he thought were questions concerned residents had.
"Question number one, is this greedy developer from Seattle, trying to destroy our neighborhood by developing two lots on the corner of West Mead Avenue and 24th Avenue --no," Kim's letter asked and answered. The proposed 43-unit building would be three stories high and feature plasma T.V's in the rooms with granite counter tops. Some of the neighbors say this may sound better than it actually is
"Mr. Kim has a lot of charisma, he can really talk nice, he convinced a lot of people this is going to be wonderful thing, but actually it will be a cash cow for him," says Art Howie, who lives in the Hamilton Park area.
Kim says he is trying to do a good deed for Yakima in addressing a need for senior housing. He doesn't plan to make a big profit off of the project. Kim also explains the building will make the area look more visually appealing. More so than the manufactured homes that will be built on the lot if the apartments aren't allowed to go in. Kim plans on selling the lot to a manufactured home developer if the zoning is not changed by the city.
The zoning change request has already been denied by the community and economic board. The regional planning commission will make a decision early next year.