Second off-leash area for West Seattle dogs? Money’s in the new Park District proposal

Next week the City Council, meeting as the Seattle Park District Governing Board, will consider finalizing the district’s 2023-2028 funding plan. The district provides supplemental funding to the Parks and Recreation department (SPR). This week Councilmember Andrew Lewis, as governing board president, presented his version of the budget proposal, which adds more money and projects to what Mayor Bruce Harrell already had proposed. One of those added projects would be a second off-leash area (dog park) for West Seattle. Note the second-to-last line on this slide from a meeting earlier this week:

This was called to our attention by Alec Rodenhauser, who’s taken over the group that’s been lobbying for an added dog park for West Seattle, which currently only has the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area. Where the new West Seattle off-leash area would be has yet to be determined – as we reported in February, the West Seattle Dog Park Coalition studied and proposed five sites – at four SPR locations, the West Seattle Golf Course, Hamilton Viewpoint, Lincoln Park, and inland Duwamish Head, and port-owned Jack Block Park. Rodenhauser says they’re still awaiting word from SPR on the feasibility of those possible sites.

Meantime, Lewis’s Park District counterproposal also adds funding for High Point Community Center and eight other community centers around the city, described as renovating and/or making the buildings “climate-conscious.” Here’s that slide from the presentation earlier this week:

Another key point from Lewis’s proposal – by the end of the funding cycle in 2028, all 129 city-park restrooms would be open year-round, while currently fewer than half are. His proposal also contains what the mayor had proposed, which includes funding to develop West Seattle’s three long-“landbanked” park sites, West Seattle Junction (40th SW), Morgan Junction Park Addition, and 48th/Charlestown. Like the mayor’s proposal, this plan would more than double what the Park District is costing property-tax payers and add a few dollars more beyond the mayor’s plan – the annual cost for the “median-value home” would range from $339 a year in 2023 to $446 in 2028. While the City Council/Park District Board has to approve the plan, there’s no further voter approval needed as this is within the range in what voters originally approved. Currently Park District funding covers about a third of the SPR budget.

37 Replies to "Second off-leash area for West Seattle dogs? Money's in the new Park District proposal"

  • WSea Dad September 22, 2022 (4:14 pm)

    I love dogs, I really do. I want so badly to see another dog park in west Seattle. But dog owners to stop treating the entire peninsula as their off leash dog park. I was with my kids at the Lafayette playground last week and there were 3 people pretending to be at Westcrest. The entitlement of dog owners is next level. And before you tell me “where am I supposed to take my dog” there was only 1 dog park when you got your dog and moved here, so……. 

    • R2 September 22, 2022 (4:44 pm)

      I totally agree. It seems like a lot of dog owners decided that the pandemic was justification for treating every park like an off-leash dog park. 

      • Odd son September 22, 2022 (5:18 pm)

        Started long before the pandemic.

    • Smoosh September 22, 2022 (8:34 pm)

      100% with you. Today at the baseball fields at Walt Hundley a dog with a leash but it’s owner 200 feet away meekly calling it’s name and being ignored by houndy came barking and bluffing at my 5 year old. The owner was annoyed at me when I yelled to get her dog away from my kid. Even if you can but especially when you can’t control it: keep a hold of it. 

    • Oakley34 September 22, 2022 (10:07 pm)

      Yep I’m a dog owner but I totally agree with the sentiment.  The lack of enforcement…especially at places like the end of Alki beach and Lincoln park…astounds me.  I love dogs but the lack of respect for others is off the charts.  A 2nd park would be great but the abuse of other spaces isn’t gonna stop.

    • Del September 22, 2022 (11:21 pm)

      My friends dog just died last week after getting bit to death by another dog here in seattle. People need to better train their dogs(barking included), so everyone can enjoy our spaces together off-leash and on-leash…

    • pop up dog park September 23, 2022 (11:56 am)

      To whomever is on the west seattle add-a-new-dog-park coalition, I support you. Offleash dogs are a big problem in West Seattle and I look forward to added enforcement. One possible quick fix is to work with the council, port, and parks department to allow for a “pilot” test of something like Kirkland and Redmond did with seasonal off leash dog park “pop ups” I drove by some of these a lot this summer and it looked cheap, easy, and effective if you can get through the red tape.

  • Flo B September 22, 2022 (4:23 pm)

    I invite city officials to come down to Alki Ave any morning. They’ll see there already is an off-leash dog park. My personal record is seeing 12 off-leash dogs running around on the sand. @75% pick up after them the rest just kick sand over the top   

  • anonyme September 22, 2022 (4:50 pm)

    Great.  As long as the new dog park simultaneously increases vigorous enforcement of off-leash laws – no warnings or wagging fingers, just hefty fines.  Anyone with a brain knows that the “I need to let my dog run loose because there’s no dog park on my doorstep” excuse is just that – total BS.  But enough with the hypocrisy – if there’s money for a park, there’s money for enforcement.  Do it.

    • WSB September 22, 2022 (4:53 pm)

      What we described in our previous report on the mayor’s proposal – an “exponential” increase in the number of Park Rangers, now two, increasing to more than two dozen – is in this proposal too – TR

    • Kyle September 22, 2022 (8:38 pm)

      Read the proposal. It earmarks money for enforcement too. The bigger concern is the price tag. Quite a lot of things people have been asking for are in it, but it comes at a cost.

  • Orb September 22, 2022 (5:18 pm)

    A dog park in these parts would be awesome. 

  • Mj September 22, 2022 (5:29 pm)

    Currently the Park’s District funding covers about 1/3 of the SPR budget.  During debate on the measure the establishment promised not to supplant existing general revenues used for Parks.  I wager that in 10 years the Park’s District funding will be 50 percent as politician’s do what they said they would not do and use Park’s District funding to cover shortfalls in the general fund.  Any takers?

    • Kyle September 22, 2022 (8:42 pm)

      Agreed. But is that a bad thing? Honest question.

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 22, 2022 (6:02 pm)

    The one on Genesee is being used heavily…It will never get approved at Lincoln park or Jack Block. I’ve spoken to the port (who owns that land) and it’s a solid non-option.

  • Anne September 22, 2022 (6:27 pm)

    So how do an off leash dog park & a golf course coexist? 

    • WSB September 22, 2022 (6:33 pm)

      As reported in our previous story about the Dog Park Coalition’s proposals (linked in this story), it’s a “corner” of the golf course used for storage.

      • Jaye September 22, 2022 (10:28 pm)

        If Trump can use a corner of his golf course to bury his ex-ex-wife, I don’t have a problem with dog owners using a designated area of the West Seattle Golf Course. I just don’t want any dogs to get hit by golf balls. They don’t understand the meaning of “Fore!” (though I think most know the meaning of “Walk” as well as “W.A.L.K.”)P.S. Absolutely NO to Lincoln Park. 

  • Revilo September 22, 2022 (6:41 pm)

    Too many dogs around here. 

    • Bronson September 23, 2022 (8:14 am)

      Too many people around here too. 

      • revilor September 23, 2022 (2:56 pm)

        I didn’t have a choice, my parents put me here.  Should I go away?

  • Jim September 22, 2022 (6:51 pm)

    No to Lincoln park! And I have a dog! Tons of people already allowing their dogs off leash at Lincoln Park to begin with and are already breaking the rules.  Better spending the money to make sure dog owners pick up dog poop so we don’t step in poop when all the leaves fall to the ground.   Leash your dogs. Got enough people who allow their dogs to roam around the neighborhood and I don’t want any of my tax money going to dog parks at all. Money should be spent to have more free activities for teenagers after school!

  • Old Trucks September 22, 2022 (7:59 pm)

    Interesting that one of the proposed sites, Morgan Junction Park Addition, has recently seen a guerilla skate park constructed.  Skaters have cleaned up the concrete  lot and created an active skate scene in the Morgan Junction!  Wondering if Councilperson Lewis is  aware?

    • flimflam September 22, 2022 (8:51 pm)


  • Lucy September 23, 2022 (6:09 am)

    FYI.  If your dog comes running up to me and mykids he’s getting a face full of pepper spray.  

    • Bronson September 23, 2022 (8:19 am)

      While I understand the frustration with off leash dogs, given that I have to be protective of my on leash dog who does not like other dogs, your aggressive attitude could certainly cut both ways as I also don’t want your kids running up to my dog. Would you suggest pepper spray be used in that situation as well, or just on the parents?

      • V September 23, 2022 (10:48 am)

        Agreed and can empathize on both sides. Learning a lot as a new dog owner of boundaries for my dog as well as other dogs and their owners. I still have a puppy and I cannot tell you the number of people who approach too closely, try to coax my dog into coming their way for pets etc. and may or may not ask for permission. Don’t be rude and keep your hands to yourself.  Can’t wait to encounter off-leash dogs and contend with any of that nonsense with my guy!

  • WSResident September 23, 2022 (8:10 am)

    The soccer fields at Fairmont park last Saturday were littered with holes which I am 99% sure are from dogs digging.  Not to mention a few mounds of poop in the field.  Nothing like some ankle rollers to start the soccer season.    I have grown up with dogs my whole life but the last 5 years I have grown to despise them and their owners.  

    • ADmyrl Byrd September 23, 2022 (10:36 pm)

      More likely moles, gophers or other critters.  

  • Sillygoose September 23, 2022 (8:36 am)

    I agree with all comments above about no to Lincoln Park and Jack Block is too close to the water.   YAY to the skate park at the abandoned  park in the Morgan Junction, if the parks department doesnt have the funding to develop it let the kids skate!

  • Azimuth September 23, 2022 (1:04 pm)

    Does anyone use that small park opposite the waterfront at Me-Kwa-Mooks?

  • Seaview parent September 23, 2022 (1:34 pm)

    Not a dog owner, but definitely see the need for another off leash dog park for all our furry friends.If the demand is there, let’s make it happen. And +1 to the Morgan Junction temporary skate spot. Love seeing the community take initiative to make something creative from otherwise unusable space. Maybe we could take similar community action at the Alki and Lincoln park playground reinstallations, which appear to be more complex than the West Seattle Bridge repairs. Loved the cute little flower garden and sitting area the skaters installed at the site before the Parks crew trashed it. Seriously though, I’ve seen a lot more usage at the Morgan Junction skate spot than the adjacent garden park. Might be worth reevaluating the plan for those properties since the design was confirmed pre-COVID, and our community needs have shifted more toward active, individual local pursuits (skateboarding, biking, and yes, dog walking).

    • flimflam September 23, 2022 (3:00 pm)

      Well that’s lame that the parks dept did that, hope they leave the rest alone but doubt they will. 

  • anonyme September 23, 2022 (6:37 pm)

    While taking a walk this afternoon in Arbor Heights I saw multiple off-leash dogs, including a guy with a Doberman AND a pit bull, both off-leash.  This goes beyond the usual entitlement of OL dog owners and well into provocation at a scary level.   And this was in the vicinity of the school, right at the time school lets out.  A dog park won’t solve this level of stupidity and malice.

  • wsresident September 23, 2022 (6:40 pm)

    I am a dog owner and do enjoy taking my dog to the dog park.  But remember the days when dog parks weren’t a thing and dogs weren’t treated like humans and just hung around at home and went on occasional walks? I grew up here in west seattle and never remember SO many dogs.  When family from Texas visits, they can’t believe how pampered dogs are here. 

  • Admyrl Byrd September 23, 2022 (10:39 pm)

    Seems like Hamilton Park might be the best option based on public opinion.  The one flat area already is a dog park by default and really serves no other use anyhow.  If we make it a formal dog park and attract more pets, maybe we can disperse the “green cloud” that hovers over the parking lot as day turns into night.  I get high just walking my dog through there.

  • Mrs. A September 27, 2022 (1:34 pm)

    I’m owner of a dog and agree – dogs should NOT be off-leash anywhere other than an off-leash dog park. My dog is super sweet but he is HUGE, and can scare people or knock them over even they like dogs. We use Westcrest Park (or another off-leash park) if he needs to be off-leash, and keep him on leash elsewhere else. Another park would be wonderful, but it would not necessarily deter owners who do not properly control their dogs.  And, even having an off-leash park doesn’t deter people who refuse to pick up their dogs’ poo…. a topic for another day. :)

Sorry, comment time is over.