Temporary dog-park appeal fight to get a hearing on Monday

(WSB photo from October, site currently planned as temporary off-leash area at Westcrest)

A Westcrest Park neighbor who says the planned temporary replacement for the dog park is too small will argue her case downtown tomorrow.

West Seattle’s only dog park is closing for up to six months next year because of a drainage project; we first heard about it when Inge Anderson‘s appeal was mentioned at an HPAC meeting in August. At the time, as we subsequently reported, the city only planned to keep the “small/shy dog area” open during the closure, but it has since – as reported here in October – planned to cordon off some extra space north of the Westcrest P-Patch. Not big enough, Anderson says, so she continued to pursue her appeal of the Determination of Non-Significance filed by the city in relation to the drainage project. Anderson contends Seattle Parks should create a much-bigger temporary dog park with some of the space further north at Westcrest, atop the underground reservoir. When that came up at an October community meeting about the temporary dog park, a Parks rep said it wasn’t possible, but Anderson communicated separately with Seattle Public Utilities, which told her it was. (We asked Parks Friday about the discrepancy and have not yet received an answer.)

Her hearing before the city Hearing Examiner, previously set for September, is now scheduled for 9 am tomorrow in the HE’s hearing room on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower (700 5th Ave.). There’s not likely to be a decision immediately, as the HE usually issues a written ruling a few weeks after a hearing. The drainage project that will close the permanent off-leash area is expected to start next spring.

13 Replies to "Temporary dog-park appeal fight to get a hearing on Monday"

  • KBear December 15, 2019 (9:52 pm)

    REALLY? This is a temporary arrangement. You’re going to tie up city resources answering your complaint because the temporary dog park isn’t good enough for you? Can you not just walk your dog on leash for a few months or go to some of the other dog parks? I am a dog owner, too, and I am frustrated that we can’t get another dog park in West Seattle. But fighting the city when it’s trying to renovate our only dog park seems counterproductive to me. 

  • Mj December 15, 2019 (10:32 pm)

    City costs are already expensive, adding process adds more cost.  I’m with KBear on this.

  • DH December 16, 2019 (7:47 am)

    I have a dog and use the park but as others have said this is a waste of time and resources. We can all cope for a while. 

  • Airwolf December 16, 2019 (9:08 am)

    I’m not a dog owner but I see frequently dogs off leash at Fairmount Park. So it sounds like there are more options

    • WSB December 16, 2019 (9:14 am)

      Westcrest is the only official off-leash park in West Seattle.

    • Manderley December 16, 2019 (12:10 pm)

      I see dogs off leash ALL OVER THE PLACE in West Seattle.  This will only last for 6 months, right?  Dog owners, relax, you’ll survive.

  • Support? December 16, 2019 (9:40 am)

    If she wants to contest this, leave her alone. The city bungles projects like this all the time and anyone should have the ability to challenge them. There are many more egregious cost overruns on city than someone challenging the size of park use. The city will never learn until people continue to do this very thing. 

    • WSB December 16, 2019 (10:03 am)

      I’m at the Hearing Examiner covering this and that’s an interesting point she’s raised – supposedly the city said it would cost $35,000 to fence a larger area – she got quotes as low as $2100 and said she’d pay that herself if it would help. As appeal hearings go, this one isn’t anywhere near the size of cases we’ve covered before. Appellant alone (with her service dog), one Parks rep, nobody in the gallery but me.

    • KBear December 16, 2019 (12:05 pm)

      The complaint isn’t about the city “bungling the project”. It’s about the size of the TEMPORARY off-leash area that will be in use for A FEW MONTHS while the dog park is being renovated. We should be grateful the park is getting some attention, not redirecting valuable city resources toward answering frivolous complaints.

      • CMT December 17, 2019 (7:13 am)

        With all due respect, you are not the arbiter of what is and is not worthy of the City’s time.  Like it or not, there is a process for citizens to participate in government and this person is doing so and evidently speaking for others who feel the same.  Believe it or not there are issues that are important to people who are not you that may be different than or in addition to what you deem important.  

  • Bill December 17, 2019 (3:31 am)

    I am disabled and use westcrest to exercise my service dog. It is the only option within reach for us.The small dog area is not an option for us being much too small for her needs – she needs room to run.Also no one has reassured us as to wheelchair access which is quite difficult at westcrest already.Surely the city can accommodate the needs of the many citizens and their dogs that use this park daily?

  • Daily OLA user December 17, 2019 (5:36 am)

    Thank you Inga for your time and energy on this important issue!  Parks seems  to have no idea how many users there are and the impact the smaller area will have on the community of humans and our canine companions.  We need a larger space.

  • Support for the appeal December 18, 2019 (4:17 am)

    Thank you Inge Anderson for pursuing this for us and our fur babies! AND thank you WSB for covering this. One of the reasons I love living in West Seattle is because of the West Crest Dog Park!  Since I read this too late and would have loved to show-up at the hearing to support, wondering if there’s another way? Maybe a petition or “letters of support” we can send to add more substance to the appeal? If the “temporary closure” (knowing the City, it will turn out much longer than they say) will be during the Spring/Summer months – this is going to be a big deal!

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