Today in the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee meeting, we did the following:
- Passed two pieces of legislation on to full council,
- Held a public hearing on the partial transfer of jurisidiction of two pieces of subterranean property from Parks to SPU,
- Heard from our wonderful Parks Trusts volunteers, and
- Got caught up on events and developments in the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).
The encroachment legislation, C.B. 117694, is designed to make it easier for Parks to reclaim Park land that has been encroached on by private property owners. Highlights of the legislation are as follows:
- Parks’ complaint-based system will use terminology, timeframes, processes that are aligned with SDOT and DPD.
- There will be a clear roadmap for what to do if you get a violation, and what will happen if you don’t respond.
- There will be an appeals process, ensuring that people affected are given due process.
I wrote earlier in the week about the Marination legislation, which did pas
s out of committee. I look forward to sampling some shave ice shortly.
Our public hearing focused on two partial transfers of jurisdiction and was required by the provisions of I-42. We heard from neighbors who supported the idea of keeping sewage out of Lake Washington but had various perspectives on how outreach for the project had been handled, as well as some great questions.
One person asked whether parks would receive land in exchange for the PTOJ to SPU, but Andrew Lee of SPU explained that when the land that is trading hands is subterranean, an exchange of property is not required. The surface will be returned to parks use after construction. However, DPR will receive compensation for the time that the parking lots are torn up for construction.
Friends of Seward Park was represented by organization president Jennifer Otts, who spoke on behalf of the historic vegetation in the area and made a special case for preserving older trees, citing the Scholar’s Tree in Cal Anderson Park as a successful example.
And it was awfully nice of one constituent to come down simply to say he’d watched the outreach efforts of SPU and DPR around these projects, and appreciated how open they’d been to community input in selecting the best sites for the tanks.
We will hear more about these two PTOJs in our next committee meeting, 2/21, and possibly vote on them.
I strongly suggest that you take a look at Christopher Williams’s Superintendent’s Report, in which he discusses the Parks Legacy Plan, Washington Park Arboretum/SR 520 mitigation, upcoming RFPs for Lakewood and Leschi moorages, and much, much more.
We were joined also at the table by David Dougherty, Chair, Olmsted Park Trust; Doug Bayley, Chair, Volunteer Park Trust; Richard Piacentini, Magnolia Boulevard Trust, who gave us an update on all the great work their volunteers have been doing to help maintain Seattle Parks at their best possible quality. Thank you so much, Trust members and volunteers. You make it happen.