The vacant lot sandwiched between St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church and Bryan Adams High School has been an empty patch of half-kempt grass since I can remember, and I’ve lived in Casa View for twelve years. And to be sure, this isn’t the first time that someone has floated plans for the area — the Magdalen House once hoped to build a halfway house for women recovering from substance abuse on the St. Mark’s lot, and neighbors thoroughly rebuffed the plan back in 2017.
Could things have changed? I suppose Arterra Development will find out at 7 p.m. tonight. The group is hosting a discussion at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church to introduce themselves and present their initial plans to bring 18 semi-detached homes to the neighborhood.
Details regarding the proposal are sparse. Casa View Haven Neighborhood Association member Tami Beck Fowler is asking neighbors to come tonight with an open mind, prepared to ask questions.
“They have done a similar installation in the M-Streets,” Fowler said in a Facebook post. “Their work product is very high end.”
The renderings show a rowhouse-type assemblage of five groupings of two to four homes, all sporting traditional architecture in a variety of styles and facades, and all with front porches and some with balconies. The development has decent setbacks and plenty of green space. No word on pricing, average lot sizes, finish-out, or what kind of zoning variance Alterra will ask for.
The neighborhood surrounding the proposed development is full of post-war ranches, many of which have seen expansions and renovations over the years. And as property values have risen, more and more young families and professionals have been drawn to Casa View. We’ll see what they have to say about the overall density and design of the proposed development.