2 public meetings set for West Seattle parks-to-be

December 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 20 Comments

The Seattle Parks Department has just set two public meetings in West Seattle next month for two parks-in-progress, the one on the former Fauntleroy Auto/monorail-station site north of the new Beveridge Place Pub, and the one next to the Myrtle Street Reservoir. According to the Parks Department’s announcement, both projects have just entered the design phase. First, the Morgan Junction meeting will be at 7 pm January 15 at The Kenney; from the announcement forwarded by Board of Park Commissioners vice chair (and Alki Community Council president) Jackie Ramels:

Project objective: Develop the recently-acquired property on California Ave SW north of Beveridge Place into a park or plaza. At this meeting, the community will have the opportunity to review preliminary site plans and to provide feedback to the design team. Landscape architects Hough Bec & Baird (HBB) started design work for the site in Dec 2007 and are currently preparing conceptual site designs based on themes the community expressed in spring 2007. The themes to be explored include the creation of a gathering space or plaza for the community and family activities that will feature hardscape, natural vegetation edges, seating, and a shelter structure.

The meeting about the Myrtle park will be at 7 pm January 22 at High Point Community Center. From the Parks Department announcement:

The site will be converted to usable open space for family-oriented activities once the reservoir is lidded. At this meeting, the community will have the opportunity to review preliminary site plans and to provide feedback to the design team. Landscape architects Nakano Associates started design work for the site in December 2007. They are currently preparing conceptual site designs based on themes the community expressed in spring 2007. These themes include a desire to emphasize the site as a viewpoint and to maximize greenspace. The community has also expressed both interest and concern about potentially locating a skateboard facility on the site, which was identified as a potential skatepark site in the Citywide Skatepark Plan. Other site features to be considered include ADA-accessible pathways, play equipment, and general landscaping.

Both of these parks-in-progress have been the subject of public meetings before, but the last ones were more than a few months ago, so these will be opportunities for new information and input on these parks’ creation. We’re adding both meetings to the WSB Events page, so you can find them later.

20 Comments

  1. I’ll be at both of these and would really, really encourage as many of you as can make them to show up also. These discussions are Parks and Rec’s way of getting both the community feel and the community dissension. I’ve seen them work amazing feats in recent meetings and believe the new superintendent and the revitalized Parks and Rec department are ready and willing to work with us plain citizens. Plus, I’ve yet to meet a Parks and Rec employee who wasn’t him or herself also a city resident. Let’s make these new parks great new additions to the city and to West Seattle.

    Comment by chas redmond — 11:16 pm December 28, 2007 #

  2. Ya, everyone go out and attend these meetings and then watch as the land sits vacant and abandoned and a community eyesore. Just look at the property at Dakota & California that the Parks Department hasn’t done a damn thing with in several years.

    Comment by KT — 9:59 am December 29, 2007 #

  3. KT….I’m not sure what empty property you’re talking about at Dakota and Calif. Ave. Could you be more specific?

    Comment by Jan — 1:38 pm December 29, 2007 #

  4. Dakota Place Park, I would imagine? The city posted an update on the official project page (here) last fall; we have been trying to reach the citizen coordinators to see where things stand from their viewpoint.

    Comment by WSB — 3:09 pm December 29, 2007 #

  5. Jan, Here is what KT is referring to: https://www.seattle.gov/Parks/proparks/projects/CaliforniaSubstationAcq.htm

    Comment by Mike Dady — 3:11 pm December 29, 2007 #

  6. aha…Thanks , WSB…yes, it’s sometimes hard to tell if somthing is going on there or not…

    Comment by Jan — 3:12 pm December 29, 2007 #

  7. Well, KT, don’t attend and my opinion counts that much more. Just saying that the voices present are the ones which help guide the development. The power station (Dakota park) work continues, although the website doesn’t give much more than a completion date of 2008 for the park. $600K is what will wind up being spent there – all Parks Levy money.

    Comment by chas redmond — 3:32 pm December 29, 2007 #

  8. With all due respect, Chas (truly, as you have great input), KT is right; NOTHING is happening with Dakota Place Park. It’s been 7 years since the funding was approved and it’s still a wreck. It was much prettier when it stood covered in ivy. We’ve called, written, emailed, (Parks, City, Mayor even), and gone to the few neighborhood meetings called. Last one was probably two years ago when we all stood inside while rain poured in on us and looked at a design that was not open for discussion (interior walls were already gone, big holes were cut in the concrete floor, and the landscaping was completely torn up). I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen workers there since. It still looks the same except every so often a few tags get added. I agree that attending the public meetings are important, if there was one for this space, we didn’t know about it. Other projects seem to move forward if not quickly, at least steadily. I think this one is hung up on whatever odd fund-raising agreement was made with the group Friends of Dakota Place. We got frustrated and stopped trying to contact anyone a year ago…

    Comment by GenHillOne — 4:21 pm December 29, 2007 #

  9. Two things to note -

    No parks project seems to get done without a significant local fundraising effort ON TOP of the Pro Parks Levy, and then a lot of waiting. Note the parks we await to see in the junction, the substation, the wranlging over the statue at Alki, etc. In many cases, the price tag for completion seems very high. And I think the Levy is expiring without a renewal? Longer waits.

    Second – I hope that at Myrtle Place we get some skating options, even if it is small. I can’t skateboard, never could as a kid, but I am tired of having every potential space for kids to engage in a healthy physical activity like skating nixed because some neighbors percieve the clientele to be unruly (as they did at Ercolini).
    At least being on 35th they can’t claim it’s too noisy.

    Comment by Denny — 4:50 pm December 29, 2007 #

  10. I second your thought re: skating, Denny, and am trying to move a previous commitment so that I can attend the Myrtle Place (what’s behind all of the “Places” anyway?) meeting. Perhaps if I’d been more in the know about the process several years ago, I’d feel better about Dakota Place. There are no skaters at my house, but it is something that we’re missing on the peninsula. Do they HAVE to lid the reservoir?

    Comment by GenHillOne — 5:07 pm December 29, 2007 #

  11. Yes, show up for the Myrtle meeting to advocate for a skate dot (which I think is what is allowed there). I know the anti-skate dot folks will be there. We need to show that there IS a need and a desire. PS – I don’t skate either but feel bad every time the kids in the neighborhood set up their ramps in the street.

    Comment by chas redmond — 7:28 pm December 29, 2007 #

  12. The city’s skatepark master plan identifies Myrtle Reservoir or High Point for a district-wide skate facility. See the master plan appendices, page 46:
    `http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects
    /skateboard/CitywideSkateparkPlan-append.pdf`

    Comment by acemotel — 9:31 pm December 29, 2007 #

  13. Glad to see some support for a skate spot. I live a block away from the location, and it always concerns me that you rarely see children playing outdoors in our neighborhood. What kind of curmudgeon gets a place that kids can get exercise, while having fun, nixed??

    P.S the reservoir lid is already complete. I believe the reason was to keep the supply safe.

    Comment by Aaron — 10:31 am December 30, 2007 #

  14. I keep remembering comments I read in the Herald opposing the skate-boarding at Myrtle Place. Someone with small children didn’t want those unruly teenagers drawn to her neighborhood. Wonder what she thinks her kids will become in a few years!

    Comment by Jerald — 12:47 pm December 30, 2007 #

  15. At the last meeting for skate parks, nearly everyone who lives adjacent to the reservoir expressed a dislike for a skate facility at the lidded reservoir. Half of those indicated they had small children. All of the opponents said it would be better if they just crossed 35th and went to High Point, which was also designated as a skate facility location (in addition to Myrtle Reservoir).

    The issue is there is NO money for skate parks, despite the skate park master plan. There IS money to make a park out of the lidded Myrtle reservoir. There is enough money to even include a skate facility. Bottom line, if we want a skate facility here in West Seattle in the next decade, we’d better get behind a skate facility at Myrtle Reservoir since there is funding to make it happen. There is no funding for skate facilities at High Point or at the Golf Course.

    So, show up and show your support for the youth and skaters.

    Comment by chas redmond — 3:09 pm December 30, 2007 #

  16. It is so good to read positive comments about skateparks! We have been trying for years to get some skateparks in Seattle- and especially West Seattle. Right now, we drive to Burien or even Auburn sometimes! Not everyone can/wants to drive that far. A ton of kids even go to Renton. I would much rather jump on my bike, or the bus with my husband and two kids and visit a local skate spot. Both the Myrtle and Beveridge parks would be perfect for a little skateable something. Even features like wider sidewalks, low ledges, railings, pump bumps, stairs- would be fun. Check out this site from a local WS skateboarder for great info http://seattleskateparks.org/?page_id=2 and also check their “links” list to check out the Parks and Rec Skate Park Advisory Committee (SPAC).

    Comment by seaweedtoasted — 8:16 am December 31, 2007 #

  17. I too live one block from the reservoir and I don’t really want a skate park installed there (if it is located closer to Willow and lower on the hill then I wouldn’t mind it). There is space across 35th with the tennis courts and athletic field. A skate park should be built there to make it a well-rounded sports area where the whole family can go (parents can play tennis while kids skate, etc). It just seems to make more sense to keep athletic facilities together instead of spread apart by a busy avenue. There is a beautiful view from the reservior as well, and it would be a shame to build a skate park at the top when it should be a view point for all to enjoy. I would love to see a small off leash area (and I don’t even own a dog), and a playground with some fun equipment for the kiddos (and I don’t have children), and a picnic area so everyone can enjoy the view and watch fireworks or the blue angels. There aren’t many children in this neighborhood as it is still an older demographic, but that is slowly changing and it will be neat to see a park for the new younger families that will move here.

    And thanks WSB for posting about the upcoming meetings; I have been trying to find more information on this for ages!

    Comment by m — 9:43 am December 31, 2007 #

  18. I was the only skateboarder at the last Myrtle Reservoir meeting. I was very disappointed at what I thought my adult neighbors had to say about the kids in their neighborhood as they reflected on the mere potential of a skatespot in this park. But then I realized there was more going on here, and it had to do with the socio-economic differences between the East and West side of 35th.

    Skateboarders were called “derelict”, “degenerate”, and “criminal” by the people who live across the street from Myrtle Park. It was a shameful showing for this community, and I was certainly glad I didn’t bring any young local skaters to the meeting. However, I asked the Parks Dept. for the emails sent to them regarding the possible skatesport at Myrtle (public record by the way) and got a different story.

    I am not meaning to single out ‘m’ who seems to have very reasonable views and concerns. But many of the people who sent in email suggesting the skatepark be placed at High Point clearly have biases against the folks who live in that neighborhood.

    In the emails, as they framed their objections to all the “noise” and “crime” that skaters would bring to their neighborhood, they did so by comparing it to all the “noise and crime” from the High Point neighborhood. They would then say, “well, if you have to have a skatepark, put it across the street” either because it is already such a problem area, or because there is already a huge police presence there, or because High Point isn’t a “residential” area.

    The problem though, is the City has statistics showing that High Point is both a residential area and has crime levels on par with the rest of the area and the rest of the city. So, by saying “we don’t want the skatepark because it will bring the kind of noise and crime that happens in the High Point neighborhood, these Myrtle neighbors were really saying “keep the High Point kids out of our park.” If the Parks Department allows this type of bais to direct decisions about what is built in this park, then they will be making a huge mistake.

    In reality, a small skate spot in each location is the best solution.

    We all want successful and positive public spaces, skaters and non-skaters alike. But some of the people who should be weighing in with valid concerns have underlying biases that are distracting the conversation away from valid concerns like amenities, clear sight lines, and aesthetics.

    Hopefully the discussion at the next meeting will be more productive than the last one, and skatespot opponents will come prepared to talk about a solution other than relocating it across the “tracks”.

    We will continue to follow this project @ seattleskateparks.org

    All the best,
    MLJ

    Comment by MLJ — 5:57 pm January 1, 2008 #

  19. I’m sorry to hear that MLJ. Sounds like some myths need to be busted. Maybe it WOULD be good to have more positive representation of skaters there. Skate Church youth group, are you out there?

    Comment by GenHillOne — 6:43 pm January 1, 2008 #

  20. Skating is a great activity and I do hope that some skaters turn out for these meetings so people can see they aren’t derelicts. These kids are exercising in a fun way and meeting friends and building a little community; it’s just another sport, it’s just not a typical organized sport like soccer or baseball.

    Comment by m — 5:27 pm January 2, 2008 #

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