Wondering why Admiral Way Viewpoint is more like Admiral Way View-less-point?

That’s most of what’s left of the view at Admiral Way Viewpoint, which is technically part of Belvedere Park. Here’s a 180-degree version:

The WSB inboxes have recently yielded multiple questions about whether Seattle Parks plans to trim trees to restore the almost-fully blocked view. We inquired and found out they won’t be doing it any time soon. Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin‘s reply to our inquiry:

Parks & Recreation is pausing any view trimming while we review and update our viewpoint and tree trimming policies. We are assembling a task force to help us with this process.

The longer story is that we are very frequently asked to trim trees to preserve views at various sites, some official viewpoints, some unofficial viewpoints. We are not funded sufficiently to be able to keep up with all these requests, and we’d like to work more proactively and regularly to keep these viewpoints clear. That will require us, along with the task force, to determine which sites require view point trimming and with what frequency.

She promised an update would be available “soon” regarding “the formation of that task force, and its progress.” Official Seattle Parks policy (see page 5) says that “Views from designated public view parks and viewpoints will be preserved through maintenance and management of parks vegetation in front of or below the viewpoint.” (Page 16 of that same document shows that this viewpoint is indeed on the designation list.)

60 Replies to "Wondering why Admiral Way Viewpoint is more like Admiral Way View-less-point?"

  • Question Authority May 31, 2018 (12:20 pm)

    The Parks Department should just hire the people who illegally cut the now famous hillside South of there, they have the experience improving views like that.  Also, if the trees at the viewpoints are also holding up the hill they shouldn’t be cut down as that’s a double standard, right?

    • JEFF HANSEN May 31, 2018 (2:29 pm)

      there’s a difference between trimming trees and cutting down or removing trees. 

    • PigeonRidge Ben May 31, 2018 (4:00 pm)

      If one wishes to change a law there are ways to go about it. If a person feels it should be legal to destroy another entitie’s property, that person can use the appropriate methodology to change that restriction in our city, state, or nation. To break a law, knowingly or unknowingly regardless of one’s justification is still illegal and exposes one to the prescribed consequences. Regardless of actual or feared erosion there is no equivalency between the city taking action on city property and a private citizen destroying public property. Though I am no authority on this subject, I hope I’ve been of some assistance in answering your question. 

  • ScottAmick May 31, 2018 (12:29 pm)

    Interesting to see some Street Views from the park dating back to 2007:https://goo.gl/maps/GpEj9UqcGNuDepending on the spot where viewing a Streetview there are several older views or just two views.

    • WSB May 31, 2018 (1:01 pm)

      YouTube searching also yields some images. However, I did not have the time to contact people for permission to use theirs so none is contained above – the blocked view certainly speaks for itself!

  • Jon May 31, 2018 (12:44 pm)

    Yeah, gosh — how could Seattle ever afford to pay arborists to take care of our parks? If only our beloved City Council and Mayor had collected exorbitant taxes to pay for such things!

    • Molly June 1, 2018 (10:44 am)

      It’s ridiculous that with everything they have to assemble a “task force” and then they send out questionnaires and have meetings and meetings and pay all these people to come up with a schedule in which they need to cut the trees to protect a view that is part of the APPEAL of living in Seattle. Where is our money going? Laughable that the City is getting so much money and it is never enough. 

  • WS Taxpayer May 31, 2018 (12:46 pm)

    is there a “community sourced” option or does that get into the sticky category of illegal tree-cutting?  

  • artsea May 31, 2018 (12:51 pm)

    All we ever hear is “we don’t have enough money”, or “we don’t have enough personnel”.  Where are all of our tax dollars and the other taxes and revenue sources going to the city being used?  Maybe the city just needs to close the door and go home.  We know the city isn’t spending the money  on road repairs.  Sad.

    • Wes C. Addle May 31, 2018 (1:09 pm)

      You forgot about the task force!

      • DP May 31, 2018 (3:18 pm)

        What we really need is a steering committee to guide the task force and an executive committee to guide the steering committee.  There should also be an executing team reporting to the task force in my humble opinion.  Then we’d really see stuff start moving!  

        • carole May 31, 2018 (6:01 pm)

          Moving in circles.

          • Rick June 1, 2018 (10:34 am)

            Dog chasing tail. And we pay millions per rotation. With appropriate results.

        • Jill Loblaw May 31, 2018 (8:45 pm)


        • Sbone June 1, 2018 (7:13 am)

          DP, there is now science to back that up. Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

    • Keith May 31, 2018 (2:29 pm)

      It’s getting sadder and sadder. I’m tired of giving my money to the city and seeing no results, only to be asked for more. Fuck off. The lady and I are looking to leave soon. Unfortunate, because we loved Seattle. But not this new Seattle. 

      • AW June 1, 2018 (8:20 am)

        Thanks for letting us know, Keith. 

  • Triangle Resident May 31, 2018 (12:55 pm)

    Rotary View Point, (35th and Alaska) where the totally restored Totem Pole stands, was to be a protected view.  Those trees  adjacent to the golf course and track have not been trimmed in decades.  

  • fiz May 31, 2018 (1:24 pm)

    Let’s form a committee to talk to the committee!  For three or four years.  Or whenever.

  • Michael Waldo May 31, 2018 (1:29 pm)

    I thought we passed a parks maintenance levy a while back that increased our propensity taxes for this stuff.  Where is all that money – taxed yearly – going?

  • JoAnn Brush May 31, 2018 (1:30 pm)

    Hamilton View Point is also becoming view-less.  If the parks department would have maintained the area before it got so out of hand, by trimming the trees, the view would be lovely.  Now only a small area is available to view the city.  Parks department always say they do not have the dollars or personal to do upkeep, but they want us to vote for more  parks. Take better care of what they.  Perhaps the City Council could designate some of the Head Tax to parks upkeep and road repairs, to say nothing of helping traffic congestion.

    • R Eng May 31, 2018 (8:33 pm)

      At Hamilton Viewpoint, during the Nickels administration, after the parks levy, Seattle Parks department and their arborist identified all the non-native shrubs etc that were then 30 feet tall were to be removed and big trees thinned to maintain the Viewpoint designation. After clearing just the blackberries in the front of the view area, the parks department stopped with only a quarter of the planned work done, claiming they ran out of money.Today, after we’ve downsized to a much smaller and less expensive condo downtown, the current Mayor and City Council has forced the formation of the Seattle Waterfront Park Local Improvement District for $200 million from me and 3000 other area condo owners in a very arbitrary and capriciously defined area of downtown going to I-5 boundary.Seattle may very well impose a LID to do their neglected work, and you too, like me, will have to consider selling and moving from Seattle as we are thrown out of our homes so that the developers and out-of-state real estate concerns (who have evidently bought out our city government) can tear down our reasonably priced homes, (few) condos and small local apartments to build the high rent mega-complexes that pour money into the pockets of the uber wealthy likes of the Trump’s, Kushner’s, etc.

      • Patrick June 1, 2018 (10:37 am)

        r eng…..You are correct in much of what you say.  However, it must be an uncontrollable knee jerk reaction of the average Seattleite, to lump the dirty politics/payoffs of our local government with Trump, Kushner, etc.     I suspect a disgusting amount of money is pouring into pockets, but it is the pockets of the Durkans, Bagshaws, O’Briens, Sawants, Herbolds, Gonzalez, etc… People, open up your blinded ideologically blinded eyes before it is too late!Time to clean house and elect a truly representative government that is not blatantly beholden to the special interest groups that are currently deciding city policy.   

  • FJ May 31, 2018 (1:38 pm)

    oh yes! another task force! that will solve everything!

  • JanS May 31, 2018 (1:50 pm)

    there’s ALWAYS enough money for yet another study, or another task force…boggles the mind. No task force…use that money to prune the stupid trees…or change the name, and drop Viewpoint.

  • aa May 31, 2018 (1:52 pm)

    We literally just created a new Parks District and provided them taxing authority to do this sort of thing. How can they possibly claim they don’t have money for basic maintenance?

  • alki resident May 31, 2018 (2:15 pm)

    An all-volunteer community group could clear up the issue in a day.  

  • Joel May 31, 2018 (2:39 pm)

    they should hire a consultant and then the task force can study the consultants report for 3 years.that’s likely a hazardous slide area – can those trees but topped have to be cut down….the city don’t go for that stuff when it’s on private property.

  • Adriana May 31, 2018 (2:46 pm)

    Are they also responsible for removing ivy from trees near pedestrian roadways? It seems like we are waiting for a death before the ivy is cleared from the trees along California near Harbor Ave. I would prioritize that over any view maintenance. 

  • newnative May 31, 2018 (3:31 pm)

    It’s like people can’t read. She didn’t say they didn’t have enough money for maintenance. She said they didn’t funds to fulfill ALL the requests. So, they are in the process of weeding out the non-mandated requests from the mandated requests. 

  • Mark Schletty May 31, 2018 (3:42 pm)

    Ah, the famed Seattle process. Claim no money, set up and fund a committee(task force), wait 2 years and then  ignore everything the committee says. Unless, of course, the committee was stacked and the outcome predetermined. Then study the study for another year,  again claim no money, and raise taxes to pay for it. Now switch the new tax money over to pay for more bike lanes, bus bulbs, homeless goodies, etc. and never do anything about the original problem. Wait for citizens questioning where the money went and start the whole thing over again. I love the Seattle process.

    • Joel May 31, 2018 (4:03 pm)

      Mark ain’t no rookie!

    • WiseWoman May 31, 2018 (11:45 pm)

      Evidently & Exactly

    • Molly June 1, 2018 (10:51 am)

      This is exactly the Seattle Way. No income tax in the state but don’t worry we are paying more with sales tax and property taxes. And they will keep going up and up. 

  • Patrick Wicklund May 31, 2018 (3:45 pm)

    I wrote a letter to Councilmember Lisa Herbold about this last winter. I got back something about city wide green canopy goals. They (council) want more of Seattle to be covered by trees and blackberries. Meh. 

    • MrB May 31, 2018 (8:08 pm)

      Another reason to VOTE OUT Lisa Herbold.  

  • Alki Bee May 31, 2018 (4:10 pm)

    Can I just go out there and do it myself?

  • Susan Staples May 31, 2018 (4:31 pm)

    I agree with Mark. The Seattle process is mind numbing. But we are now allowing builders to build past the old legal limit, hence the view is lost for those of us without the money to fight them ( Argis). Let the little people build like that and they would come down hard. Yes I go to the meetings on this type of building, and their response was Oh but we are commercial. Times are changing, not for the good. 

  • Joan May 31, 2018 (4:33 pm)

    I’m soooo glad someone brought this up! Exactly what I have thought.  The view is sadly gone. How about using volunteers, if no funds are can be allocated? There are  plenty of professional or serious amateur gardeners who would be happy to get out there and prune away. Are you listening, Mayor and Parks Dept?

  • Sillygoose May 31, 2018 (5:48 pm)

    Contact Marty Reimer kzok 95.7 he can clear cut a view just ask him! Lol

  • Common Sense May 31, 2018 (6:56 pm)

    I would rather have trees converting carbon dioxide into oxygen than cutting their branches for a view amenity.

  • Sna May 31, 2018 (7:20 pm)

    Just FYIThese views are protected by law as part of the State Environmental Protection Act.  Its unclear to me how the city can just arbitrarily stop the vegetation management practices without some sort of environmental review.  

  • No Accountability May 31, 2018 (8:03 pm)

     Mayor needs to start leading. Time to demand replacement of Parks Admin. staff and clean up similar management problems within City Council and other City agencies, esp. SDOT. The comment below sums up Parks Department problem: Lisanne November 14, 2017 (11:19 am) Not surprising that a new Mayor and new Council members want to sort out some long-troubled civic areas. Particularly the deeply troubled bureaucracy of the Parks Dept., which seems incapable of sorting out it’s internal issues and becoming an effective manager of public holdings.  There is a general and pervasive awareness that Parks is out of control and no one seems to be able to wrangle it.  … It’s a mess and someone needs to get it cleared up – too much money is being spent on Parks for this kind of awful administration.

  • Trs May 31, 2018 (8:39 pm)

    Why do they need to put together a task force to do sonething that has all ready been decided? Thanks WSB for finding the policy. They need to just do their job. 

  • sna May 31, 2018 (9:45 pm)

    This is the intended views outlined in the city policy at Hamilton.   It’s nowhere near that today,  Here’s not it used to look.  

  • West Seattle Rob May 31, 2018 (11:00 pm)

    Whether views, traffic or homeless, this entire administration is inept and out of their league.  #RecallThemAll.

    • Mike June 1, 2018 (12:33 am)

      Agreed, 100%

  • Joy L June 1, 2018 (4:32 am)

    I can still remember the day I got on our balcony that is across from “the Totempole Viewpoint. A fully grown whale was traveling to our city & I could see it (with the help of binoculars)! Used 2 spend a lot of time looking at the view. Could even set the clocks 2 the Safeco sign in the U District! Even bought a print of the view as it should be.Been hanging up in every home I have had. I remember the landslides that were NEVER at the top. Much farther down the hill. I had to move away for safety reasons, but still have a few good memories. Nothing wrong with a little clean-up. What will our children & grandchildren see? Not a very good role model. Shame on you.

  • Owen R June 1, 2018 (5:39 am)

    The trees ARE the view stupid!

    • Sna June 1, 2018 (8:50 am)

      These views are specifically protected under code.  The city is out of compliance with its own policy.  This isn’t the case of some homeowner being upset.25.05.675 – Specific environmental policies

  • airwolf June 1, 2018 (7:39 am)

    Where can One apply to be a member of the task force?            

  • Expat who still cares June 1, 2018 (8:13 am)

    Govermentium!!  I think i just snorted coffee out my nose. 

  • Mr. Madrone June 1, 2018 (11:32 am)

    The whole process of Seattle tree worship has been co-opted by the easy way out by the politicians.I am a tree life long tree lover with multiple large trees including Madrones and Douglas Fir that are expensive to maintain, but the city does not allow me to manage on my own property.If we really wanted to improve air quality and have more trees, we would mandate tree coverage for all homes and require removal of the non-indigenous grass lawns which consume vast amounts of drinking water and do great harm to environment with fertilizers and chemicals leaching into the soil, aquifers and eventually into the Sound and Lake Washington.  We could fund the incredible maintenance backlog of Seattle owned green spaces with a surcharge for those who choose to maintain grass lawns…make them pay to offset their environmental damage.Since the majority of Seattle is already developed with SFRs, adding this responsibility would far out- perform current requirements for adding/replacing trees in new developments which are very few comparatively.This would educate all to the responsibility of trees and their maintenance.  It would also fairly spread the cost of improving our environment to all property owners.It would also put to test those who claim, “the trees are the view”. And if all house were required to be forested with trees, the city could then fairly maintain the designated views.

  • TiredofGovernmentGreed June 1, 2018 (4:04 pm)

    They are not funded to trim trees???  My property taxes are up 70% over the past four years.  This city is well-funded for any and all park maintenance.  Vote out the mayor and city council that allows such poor city services.

  • TJ June 1, 2018 (6:27 pm)

    Yeah ok Mr Madrone, homeowners sure need another tax. Now on lawns? Anti tax revolt is slowly starting because of new taxes. And btw I have a lawn and 2 non native palm trees I paid a lot to have transplanted

  • Keith June 2, 2018 (8:17 am)

    I just checked on the 2018 proposed budget for the Parks dept, it has over 35 million dollars for landscaping out of their 168 million dollar budget. I believe that the money is there for this project.

  • MAO June 2, 2018 (11:19 pm)

    Parks has money.  Parks has staff to do maintenance.  Parks has a plan that has been reviewed for environmental impacts and approved – through a huge process.  Both the City and the Parks Department have an arborist  What Parks needs now is a  leader with a backbone – to tell staff to follow the policy, to deploy staff to do the work, and to say “no” (for now) to requests for view pruning outside the policy.   Live with a policy for more than a couple of years, otherwise Parks is just spinning with no direction.  

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