The Parks and Green Spaces Levy approved by Seattle voters in 2008 is expiring, and that’s a major reason why the Parks Department has been working on a “Legacy Plan” including what to ask voters for next. The Legacy Plan Citizens’ Advisory Committee meets downtown tonight, and the agenda includes a briefing on potential options that could eventually wind up as part of your property-tax bill, as well as a look at proposals for how to spend the money.
First: The briefing suggests possible temporary or permanent levy-lid lifts, bonds, or creating a permanent Metropolitan Parks District – like Tacoma has – that would have its own property-taxing authority. From the city website, here are the slides for tonight’s briefing:
If you can’t see the slides in that window, you can see the PDF version here. The committee is working toward a December deadline for making recommendations to the City Council and Mayor. Tonight they also will look at the long list of “Investment Initiatives” – what might be funded with whatever money is raised by the next voter-approved measure.
Items of potential West Seattle interest from the 37-proposal list include:
#14, $1.4 million to develop parks at sites where the city has bought or is buying the land – including three in West Seattle. Explanation excerpt:
Thanks to the support of the people of Seattle, voters approved the Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008. Included in the Levy were funds for new park acquisition. However, there were not funds in the 2008 Levy to develop the newly purchased properties into parks or to maintain them. Fourteen neighborhood park sites have been acquired with 2008 Levy funds but are land-banked – held in their current condition. The land-banked sites are throughout the City, many in some of the densest neighborhoods, experiencing the greatest population growth. The sites need to be developed to become true assets to their neighborhoods, and to keep faith with the voters who supported their acquisition as park land.
(The three in West Seattle would be 48th/Charlestown, the 40th SW site in The Junction, and the site north of Morgan Junction Park.)
#26, which would include funding 2 new park rangers and 2 animal-control officers:
The most frequent complaints Parks receives from our park users are about dogs off leash. Additional support from dedicated Animal Control officers is also needed to respond to dog off-leash issues in our parks. Park Rangers and Animal Control officers would work outside the downtown parks with special focus on random patrols of parks where there have been complaints of dogs off leash or where there is observed ongoing damage to turf, trails or natural areas by dogs off leash. Park Rangers and Animal Control officers would work in cooperation to provide education and solicit compliance of the leash law.
There is a public-comment period at tonight’s meeting, which is at 6 pm at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter Ave. N.).