(Thursday photo courtesy Benjamin Blain)
The proposed Seattle Parks purchase of the commercial site north of Morgan Junction Park (reported here last week) is on this Thursday’s City Council Parks and Neighborhoods Committee agenda. Last Thursday night, the Morgan Community Association invited community members to come see and discuss the site (above) with Parks reps; this Thursday, Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams will brief committee members on where the deal stands. The agenda includes a proposed ordinance that would authorize the city to acquire the site via condemnation – “eminent domain” – which seemed a little drastic, so we checked today with Parks’ Chip Nevins to get an explanation. He says the ordinance “was written several months ago when negotiations were not going as well as they are now. We always expect that we can negotiate a successful acquisition, but condemnation authority shows the landowner that we are serious, provides us with some more negotiating tools and also provides some tax advantages to the seller.” He says that while there have been past cases of the council authorizing this process for Parks’ use, they’ve never had to deploy it. The Morgan Junction site (6311 California SW) is still on the open market for $2 million, as it was when we first mentioned it back in June.
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