When Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre met with HPAC last night (full report to come), he was asked about a long upcoming closure of West Seattle’s only off-leash area, at Westcrest Park. Aguirre didn’t have details but said he’d look into it. We hadn’t heard about it either, but found some information on the Parks website, which elaborates:
There have been ongoing drainage and erosion concerns at the Westcrest OLA, since at least 2016. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is proposing to undertake maintenance activities in and around the Westcrest Park OLA to address these problems. SPR will also be taking this opportunity to bring the north parking lot into compliance with current accessibility standards.
SPR is in the process of refining the design and acquiring the necessary permit. The revised design will solve the drainage and erosion issues while providing a better user experience for all users.
Construction will begin in the spring of 2020 and we anticipate completion by fall. Due to safety for all and the scope of the project, the north parking lot and the entire OLA will be closed for the duration of construction. We understand the impact this will have on the OLA and are endeavoring to keep the shy/small dog use area open for everyone’s use during most of the construction.
The project page has more specifics on exactly what will be done; Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin says the exact start date hasn’t been finalized yet. She also followed up for us on an attendee’s mention of a September 18th hearing related to the project; a nearby resident has appealed the determination (PDF) that the project doesn’t need an environmental-impact report, and the city Hearing Examiner will consider the case on that day. The appellant says the closure of the off-leash area will be a hardship unless an temporary substitute is available.