FOLLOWUP: Here’s why West Seattle Stadium site might become EV-charging lot instead of off-leash area

You might call this a followup to a followup:

(Parks graphic from June announcement of sites under consideration as off-leash areas)

During Monday night’s Seattle Parks online briefing about various West Seattle projects, there was a major update to the process of planning a second WS off-leash area – Parks said that one of the two sites between which they’re deciding, south of West Seattle Stadium, might no longer be “viable” because of the city’s push toward “electrification.” For our followup on that – published Wednesday – we learned that the city Finance and Administrative Services department is eyeing the site for charging city vehicles, including electric golf carts for the adjacent golf course. But that information came from Parks, so today we asked FAS for more details on the project. FAS spokesperson Melissa Mixon first gave us this overview, “FAS approached Parks about the location and shared it could be an ideal site for a charging site, so long as it’s not needed or used by Parks for purposes of a dog park since that project pre-dates this one. FAS is currently awaiting direction from Parks on how they would like to proceed and whether we should explore the feasibility of the West Seattle Stadium/Golf location or pursue other potential sites for a charging station.”

The backstory: “FAS is building EV charging hubs throughout the City to support the City’s rapid transition to electric vehicles in the City’s fleet. These locations will be regional so City fleet can re-fuel (electricity) when needed. The West Seattle area became the first priority region and the West Seattle Stadium/Golf could serve as an ideal location. FAS and Parks are in early conversation about this site.” Right now, Mixon said, it’s “the only West Seattle location under consideration but that could change based on Parks’ feedback regarding this site. … This site is under consideration due to its location, ease of access for City electric vehicles to enter and exit, and because it would have minimal impact on the public.”

We asked for more specifics regarding the potential facility’s scope. Mixon said it is envisioned for “6-8, Level 3 (150 KwH+) fast chargers that need approximately 10,000 square feet to accommodate ingress/egress and parking. … There are 17 fleet-using departments in the City. All departments would have access to this EV fueling station as they conduct business in the area. Seattle Parks Department would be a heavy user as they have the fourth largest fleet in the City.”

If Parks gave FAS the green light to pursue this site, “FAS would need to conduct a feasibility study and estimate costs. This process can typically take two months and a decision would not be made until both are complete.” Parks, meantime, is supposed to have a recommendation on the dog-park site within weeks; the other site that’s been under consideration for West Seattle’s second off-leash area is in Lincoln Park.

60 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Here's why West Seattle Stadium site might become EV-charging lot instead of off-leash area"

  • Miranda November 30, 2023 (10:24 pm)

    Would this be for city vehicles only? West Seattle is a charging station desert and the ones we do have are always broken. It would be amazing to have a new reliable charging station for public use. 

    • WSB November 30, 2023 (11:42 pm)

      Yes, city vehicles only. But elsewhere in WS, public charging stations are increasing – the Morgan lot has just gone to the permit stage and I expect to have an update on that soon.

    • Jay December 1, 2023 (1:41 am)

      It’s hard to have any metals out in public now. People even cut the ground wires off of utility poles in my neighborhood.

    • Elton December 1, 2023 (10:13 am)

      It does seems rather surprising that none of the Junction parking lots have an EV station. Seems like it would be a great idea from a business perspective to attract folks to come to West Seattle to do some shopping while they charge their EV (particularly for tourists in rental EV cars).

    • WS Res December 1, 2023 (10:47 am)

      It looks like the chargers behind Trader Joe’s are back in service, I think?

  • 1994 November 30, 2023 (10:43 pm)

    This site is under consideration due to its location, ease of access for City electric vehicles to enter and exit, and because it would have minimal impact on the public.” Do they plan to install a traffic light for the ‘ease of access’ idea?  Didn’t the SDOT install a large yellow barricade thing in the middle of the street right near the entry to the golf course stadium drive way?  

  • Mariem November 30, 2023 (10:44 pm)

    Love the idea of the charging hub! 

  • Andy December 1, 2023 (12:01 am)

    Would love to see part of the golf course become a dog park

    • Matthew Chase December 1, 2023 (6:05 pm)

      I’m a huge dog lover…but I’d love for West Seattle golf course to have a driving range before using any WS golf property used for a dog park.

  • aRF December 1, 2023 (4:29 am)

    So to be clear, the ball is in Seattle Park’s court. If they want to put a dog park at the West Seattle Stadium, FAS will abide. 

    • raincity December 1, 2023 (2:22 pm)

      Yes that is my understanding as Parks controls this site. 

  • Watertowerjim December 1, 2023 (5:38 am)

    To be clear, I am all for electric just for the noise reduction and lack of exhaust – but – the power is still being generated somewhere and unless we are are 100% renewable aren’t we just shifting the pollution and claiming victory?

    • WS Res December 1, 2023 (10:48 am)

      No.  Anyway, WA is 70-80% renewable and trending upward.

    • DC December 1, 2023 (12:41 pm)

      90% of Washington State’s power is renewable. Happy to have allayed your fears. 

    • look at that December 1, 2023 (4:48 pm)

      Look at that, it jumped 20% in 2 hours. Let me try….

      WA state electricity is 95% renewable.

    • 1994 December 1, 2023 (11:47 pm)

      The hydro power is killing off the Orca’s food source…. isn’t that the problem with dams, ruining the salmon runs? Human progress is nature’s enemy.

  • Morgan December 1, 2023 (7:00 am)

    I own electric vehicle but charge at home—I don’t need or want more ev stations in my own neighborhood. I’d rather see more destinations and private commercial lots get chargers, and have parks focus on rare rec opportunities. Like the ferry dock is a good place for ev and so could be junction parking lots…but why this green space?

    • Elton December 1, 2023 (10:11 am)

      It’s not for people like you, it’s for city vehicles specifically. They need somewhere to charge when not in use and I imagine some of these vehicles will get heavy use and, hence, it makes sense to have charging stations near where such employees would have enough work to get done to get a bit of juice while they’re doing that work.

  • flimflam December 1, 2023 (7:02 am)

    I see many trees within the red “zone” – does that mean this project would chop them down?

  • Oliver December 1, 2023 (7:11 am)

    That same location is the overflow  parking lot for track meets and it fills up to capacity.  Now parking in the neighborhood will be even more nuts on track meet days. 

  • Green areas December 1, 2023 (7:13 am)

    Why are only green areas being considered for development when there are so many empty or previously developed sites available. A true alternatives analysis should be done on all of these proposals. The answer is likely that these are already owned by the City. But if we accounted for ecological functions as well as economic LP followed by the golf course would be off the table.

  • Ahrqueue December 1, 2023 (7:13 am)

    It’s interesting to look at the map and see a large area of a golf course that caters to a select privileged few. What gives?

    • my two cents December 1, 2023 (8:55 am)

      ‘select privileged few’? Really? You can spend the same amount for a round of golf as you would for running in a 10k on the city street. Take out the ‘select privilege’ troll baiting’ and your statement would carry more weight and objectivity.

      • wsEthicist December 1, 2023 (4:29 pm)

        Golf courses are not an efficient and equitable way to use densely-populated land. The maximum number of players per day pales in comparison to a general use park, plus the cost of renting/owning equipment and usage fee. 

  • Dan December 1, 2023 (7:13 am)

    In addition to it being absolutely bonkers that they would need 10,000 square feet for 6-8 vehicle charging stations, why on earth can’t they use the existing parking area for this? It’s not taking cars off the road, it should use the established parking locations, not cut into valuable park space. There was extensive outreach to determine this is a great spot for a dog park. The siting of parking stations has much fewer considerations, they have time to figure out an alternative, since they obviously aren’t doing any public outreach to find optimal spots.

    • my two cents December 1, 2023 (9:03 am)

      Frame of reference: Subtract 5 foot buffer on perimeter and you are looking closer to 9,000 square feet. average parking space 320 square feet x 8 vehicles takes up 2,500 square feet – taking you down 6,500 square feet. Add in turn in/out factor (multiple of the 8 x 320 calculation) … entrance and such and you fill out that amount of area pretty quickly.

  • Seth December 1, 2023 (7:31 am)

    There are a ton of dog owners in north delridge.  It would be really nice to have a dog park close as linkcoln and westcrest are a decent ways away. I hope they choose to make the stadium a dog park.  EV for city vehicles is not useful in such a dense part of the city.  Surely they could add some chhargers to the nucor parking lot thats 1/8 full to charge there.  

  • Danny December 1, 2023 (7:45 am)

    Either way this goes, my robot dog is going to be sooooo happy. 

  • Jort December 1, 2023 (8:15 am)

    Weird how people have been engaging in a weeks-long direct action protest about the painting of lines on an existing concrete pad in Lincoln Park, calling it an existential threat to wildlife and mobilizing thousands to work against the change …. yet here we are literally paving over park land to make parking for cars and … where’s the petition? What about the birds? Does nobody care for the beautiful, beautiful birds? What of our commitment to nature and the birds?! Or, was the anti-PicklePlex sentiment not actually about the birds? Hmm? Why don’t we have hundreds of comments on this article? Hmmm? We are literally going to pave over park land for “6-8” vehicles? Remember how we had to protect the golf course at *all costs* from the light rail? But, nah, it’s OK to slap down some pavement for parking. Absolutely no pushback on that.

  • Ss December 1, 2023 (8:32 am)

    With the how secluded /hidden it is by the bushes on 3 sides seems like a prime spot for vandalism   The Morgan lot had lots of issues and it’s wide open. 

    • WSB December 1, 2023 (9:16 am)

      The Morgan lot hasn’t started construction yet – but the two-charger site near Spruce/West Seattle Bowl has indeed been repeatedly hit.

    • B December 1, 2023 (11:10 am)

      Maybe these EV charging stations and the cars themselves need to be redesigned, so that the charging station only includes a receptacle, and the valuable copper cable is stored on a retractable reel in the car.

      • WS Res December 1, 2023 (12:32 pm)

        Fast-charging cables are too thick and heavy to carry in your car without taking up space and adding significant weight. (Which is said every time someone makes this suggestion.)

        • B December 1, 2023 (8:11 pm)

          I found a 300 amp level 3 charging cable made by Brugg eConnect that weighs 15 lbs for a 6-1/2′ long cable.  That’s not light, but it’s not super heavy either.  It’s about 1-3/4″ in diameter.  That’s slightly larger than a gas pump hose  Doesn’t seem like it’s too thick or heavy to me.

      • WS Guy December 1, 2023 (2:11 pm)

        They should be redesigned so the system is underground and charges a parked car like a phone on a magnetic charging pad.

        • bill December 1, 2023 (9:03 pm)

          That could play havoc with pacemakers and metal implants. 

  • Mr J December 1, 2023 (9:22 am)

    They should consider taking up a few spots at the SW precinct, it’s never full and it’s a secure spot. Until the technology becomes more resistant to thieves it seems like more secure locations would be best. This space should be used for public good, not City convenience. 

    • anonyme December 1, 2023 (9:51 am)

      Excellent idea.  As Green Spaces pointed out, why are only green spaces being targeted, when there are so many decrepit developed areas/lots available?  Next, they’ll want to put an EV charging lot in Lincoln Park, as that seems to be Parks’ plan for dumping any inconvenience.

    • Curious George December 1, 2023 (10:37 am)

      Mr J -I like the way you think, excellent idea.  Once again I see the Parks Dept in a big controversy (pickle ball II).

  • Keenan December 1, 2023 (9:38 am)

    An EV charging lot is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.  If you don’t have a garage or somewhere you can plug in to charge at home, don’t buy an EV.

    Do they expect EV owners to drive to this lot specifically to charge their car? Then do what for several hours while it charges, walk around and twiddle their thumbs?  How impractical.   Chargers should be put in parking garages/lots in commercial areas like downtown to charge while you’re at work,  not a field in the middle of nowhere by a golf course.

    • WSB December 1, 2023 (9:42 am)

      This would be for city vehicles, not private vehicles.

      • Brandon December 1, 2023 (12:43 pm)

        Where are those city vehicles parked now? I would guess somewhere else already.  Just spit balling here but wouldn’t it be easier to install a charge station at a place that is presumably already a secured area for city vehicles…? Instead of making a new place and relocating those EVs?

    • EJ December 1, 2023 (10:41 am)

      Set aside that the proposal is for a city fleet charging hub, not a public use lot–Level 3 charging does not take hours to charge any vehicle. It’s about 20-30 minutes for most EVs to charge to 80% using 150kW chargers (referenced in the article).  

    • TE December 1, 2023 (10:56 am)

      I agree, and I also believe people shouldn’t drive gas cars unless they have a gas station in their house.

    • bradley December 1, 2023 (11:13 am)

      Reading comprehension is a Gift.

  • Jeff December 1, 2023 (10:49 am)

    Jeeeze put all this money into transit, not charging freakin’ vehicles! Stupid!

  • Private December 1, 2023 (10:54 am)

    EV stations should be at Starbucks, Walmart and other private businesses- while charging you go get a cup of tea  eating  cake in your face and do shopping.Orif you have a private EV charger, why don’t you AirBnb it for other users and charge them–win win

  • DC December 1, 2023 (11:05 am)

    It seems pretty clear that Seattle Parks is trying to scapegoat FAS. FAS makes clear in their statement that Parks gets first claim to the spot and that they haven’t even done an analysis of where the station should go yet. Any serious type of equity analysis would clearly indicate the stadium as the proper place for a dog park and it is also where the vast majority of West Seattleites want it to go. Rather then admit they’re ignoring that, they’re blaming FAS. 

    • Carol December 1, 2023 (12:11 pm)

      I agree.  Seattle Parks seems to have made up their minds to destroy the beautiful meadow at the center of Lincoln Park for an OLA.  They went out of their way to solicit citizen opinions, setting up a booth in the Junction,  as well as their on-line surveys.  But, when they didn’t get the outcome THEY wanted (more people voted for a stadium OLA)  they’ve now pulled the rug out from under the citizenry and are trying to blame it on FAS.  They also pulled a fast one with the tennis / pickle ball courts.  It was all set that the Bob Booth Tennis courts were to be striped for both sports, then, at the 11th hour Seattle Parks changed their minds and moved to use the old Lincoln Park tennis courts as new pickle ball courts.  AND they were pretty sneaky about how they “announced” this decision.    Seattle Parks and Recreation seems to be very dictatorial and only paying lip service to “wanting public input” as evidenced by the Zoom “public meeting” fiasco.

      • Friend of Lincoln Park December 1, 2023 (4:36 pm)

        Thank you for the great comment, Carol! I’m confused by these Seattle Parks decisions as well, they seem to be intentionally targeting quieter green spaces for development. If an off leash area in Lincoln, why not near the south parking lot where there’s a playground graveyard steps from the parking lot? (I’m sure there are reasons they can’t use this area, but the spot they chose is just such a bad dog run location…). 

      • Kim P December 1, 2023 (5:22 pm)


    • raincity December 1, 2023 (2:25 pm)

      Exactly 100%

    • 87% December 1, 2023 (9:54 pm)

      It’s rare that anything gets 87% in a vote but West Seattle voted 87% to put the new dog park by the West Seattle golf course. Seattle Parks representatives didn’t bother to explain why that might not work. Thank you WSB for your followups so our community isn’t completely in the dark. I agree with DC and Carol’s comments.  

  • bradley December 1, 2023 (11:15 am)

    Why not consider that large Seattle City Light yard on West Marginal?  Fenced.  Secure.  Close by. Expansive location.  Service potential SCL vehicles in the future + Parks Dept.  

  • bradley December 1, 2023 (11:19 am)

    I’m surprised that site is considered for OLA.  Haven’t dug in deep, but 16,000 sqf is about 3 average lots in West Seattle (aprox 5k each).  As a dog owner, that seems very small and would be a cluster.  Plus the amount of parking squeezes with transit users and the golf course.  I also agree as an overflow area for not only track meets, but football games too (I’ve seen cars parked on the hill side all the way up to the Totem Pole park at big games.

    • D December 1, 2023 (2:02 pm)

      I’m a dog owner as well… Dog parks around the same size or smaller do just fine. What you describe as ‘a cluster’ just sounds to me like a well-used and practical park. If you put in a dog park, the ideal expectation is that as many people use it as possible, I wouldn’t describe that as bad decision-making at all. An OLA seems far more useful to the residents that live in the direct area than as infrequent overflow parking for visitors.

  • Matt December 2, 2023 (10:30 am)

    “ease of access for City electric vehicles to enter and exit” ??? If all city vehicles are traveling north when they enter and exit, or if they only do so at 3am, sure. Otherwise I’d hardly consider this location easy. Although I guess the faster EV acceleration will help them hit those narrow gaps in traffic on 35th.

  • John December 2, 2023 (4:52 pm)

    Just a minute here, are we going to replace a greenspace with a parking lot?

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