West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir park project gets another big OK

July 1, 2010 12:48 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

We’re at City Hall downtown, where the Seattle Design Commission has given its blessing to the West Seattle Reservoir/Westcrest Park project design shown at last Saturday’s community meeting. From the Parks Department, project manager Susanne Friedman was there, along with Parks’ Michael Shiosaki, and SiteWorkshop architect Mark Brands. Commission members expressed not only support but even excitement about some of its potential elements, particularly the possibility for much of the landscaping to be planted as “Garry Oak savannah” (above).

They also liked the proposal to pay tribute to the underground reservoir with a grid of squares echoing the columns beneath, as well as markers on its corners (explained in the screenshot above, taken from Saturday’s presentation). A few new bits of information: Friedman said they still have “some details to go back and vet with Seattle Public Utilities” regarding “load limits” atop the covered reservoir; Brands said Parks is talking with the Department of Neighborhoods regarding “alternative funding” for the orchard/community garden proposed as part of the project. He explained the offleash-dog-park expansion that drew the most questions and concerns Saturday; commission members thought the suggested multiple-gate scenario had promise for getting people between what will then be two separate areas for dog romping. West Seattle-residing member Brendan Connolly gave the project team kudos for recognizing the importance of the nearby West Duwamish Greenbelt forest, but suggested perhaps an even “stronger response,” like a loop trail that takes people into the forest and back out to the park, to tie the two together more closely. There was some concern about a lack of lighting; Brands explained they’d like to consider solar, but “its cost is prohibitive right now” – maybe there are future possibilities.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Design Commission will see the project once more; the Arts Commission is scheduled to take a look at that aspect of the project (we’re checking to see if it’s on the agenda for the group’s July meeting). And, as Friedman said on Saturday, a public open house will be scheduled in fall to show an updated design, before final construction plans are made.

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