FOLLOWUP: City Council committee OKs Schmitz Park expansion purchase, years in the making

A long meeting of the City Council committee chaired by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold just concluded with a vote supporting a small but significant expansion of Schmitz Park.

We published the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s announcement of this on Sunday. (They’re a supporter, though not a party, to the matter.) Today the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee heard from the 5,000-square-foot site’s owner Bruce Stotler (right) and from West Seattle-residing former Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who shepherded the proposed purchase until his term ended two years ago, and handed it over to Herbold.

Stotler said at today’s meeting that he wanted to make sure his parcel on the southeast edge of the forested preserve – donated by the Schmitz family more than a century ago – wouldn’t someday become a “megahouse with a five-foot yard.” Under terms of the deal with the city, he will sell it for $225,000 but retain a “reservation of life estate” interest so he can continue living there until he dies (or if he chooses to move), at which time the city takes full ownership and will demolish Stotler’s house. The money will come from the levy-funded Seattle Park District.

The city originally didn’t have the money for this, the committee was told, but Stotler didn’t give up. And, said Parks’ Chip Nevins, “It’s important to protect the edges of these parks from encroachment by development.” The site might also be part of a new pathway into the park someday, Herbold noted.

The two committee members in attendance, Herbold and Councilmember Mike O’Brien, both voted to approve the deal, and the full council will have the final vote sometime next month.

7 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: City Council committee OKs Schmitz Park expansion purchase, years in the making"

  • Shockley December 12, 2017 (1:41 pm)

    Good on ya, Bruce!

    • Gael December 12, 2017 (8:12 pm)

      Bruce is truly one of the most bighearted people I have ever met. Even with his own struggles, he always puts the common good first. Truly a remarkable man. An authentic local hero.

  • matt December 12, 2017 (1:44 pm)

    Glad to see that the city will be able to integrate this parcel at some point down the road.  Thank you Mr. Stotler.

  • MM December 12, 2017 (6:31 pm)

    That’s a nice holiday sell/gift for WS.

  • Mike December 12, 2017 (8:42 pm)

    Thank you Bruce!  The city got a screaming deal and the community will benefit for many more generations.

  • Leslie December 13, 2017 (6:28 am)

    Thank your Bruce!  And also to Tom and Lisa!  Hope they name the new entrance after you as a lasting memorial! 

    • Mike December 13, 2017 (9:25 pm)

      Agreed, I think Stotler trailhead would work well.

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