PARK PROJECTS MEETING, REPORT #2: West Seattle off-leash area status, and other non-pickleball notes

In our second of three reports from tonight’s Seattle Parks online briefing meeting about West Seattle programs/projects, here are the updates on plans for a second WS off-leash area, and other non-pickleball-related notes:

OFF-LEASH AREA: You might recall that in June Parks had whittled the list of possibilities for a second West Seattle off-leash area to two – Lincoln Park and West Seattle Stadium.

A brief mention tonight of community-survey results showed overwhelming support for the stadium-vicinity site, and an almost-even split for/against the Lincoln Park site. But Deputy Superintendent Andy Sheffer suggested that the stadium-vicinity site might have to be dropped because of “some additional complications” regarding “electrification of the park system” that would render it “not as viable.” (He did not elaborate, so we’ll be following up.)

He said the Parks recommendation for a site would be made early next year.

He and another deputy superintendent, Mike Schwindeller, delivered even-briefer updates on other projects/programs that are all running far behind their original timetables:

LINCOLN PARK SOUTH PLAY AREA: As we reported in September, a contractor has been signed and the work to replace this six-years-closed play area will start early next year – the contractor “will mobilize right at the beginning” of 2024.

HIAWATHA PLAY AREA: This had to be redesigned and construction is now expected to start next summer.

HIAWATHA COMMUNITY CENTER: The long-in-the-works stabilization project will go out to bid next week, and work will begin in the first quarter of 2024, lasting about a year. The delays (Hiawatha has been closed since the pandemic) were again blamed on the wait for a half-million-dollar FEMA grant.

LANDBANKED PARKS: These were described as “brand new” though one site was acquired a decade ago. All three (40th SW in The Junction, Morgan Junction Park Addition, and 48th/Charlestown) are now expected to open as full-fledged parks in 2025, Morgan Junction with an added-after-community-clamor skateboarding feature.

DON ARMENI FLOATING DOCK REPLACEMENT: The new floating docks are being fabricated now, and work is expected to start in the first quarter of next year.

SOLSTICE PARK TENNIS COURT RESTRIPING: As we previously reported, that’s now awaiting the warm season.

Since that restriping was originally to include pickleball, and a change in plan led to the Lincoln Park project, that brings us back around to what took up two-thirds of tonight’s meeting – the subject of our third and final report, coming up, the Lincoln Park pickleball-court project. (First report, here, is about the proposed change in Alki Beach summer closing times.)

34 Replies to "PARK PROJECTS MEETING, REPORT #2: West Seattle off-leash area status, and other non-pickleball notes"

  • SE Dick etc November 27, 2023 (9:50 pm)

    WSB um DYIN’ here!! Kidding; not kidding. No. Don’t know what I’m gonna do if it’s as bad as KTL sez, but if it is or not clearly won’t be made right here. I’m probly done, again (probly); hope you archive and amalgamate the whole thing, maybe even an unabridged. I haven’t done like that in 40yrs, if then. Desperation. That old van has to be a story that I hope you’ll be able to choose to tell; seems like it must inform the truth of what’s going on here. Or not. Who knows. Thx for all you’ve impossibly read and seen fit to print. Had it had any effect, it woulda been all you–and you have plenty, all you read and write and report and enable–those cherished xmas ornaments. Little; big. In a dying world, you run a real gem, and yr neighbor AlsoMarina said it best. So thank you.

    • flimflam November 28, 2023 (8:40 am)

      Maybe it’s me but could someone translate this?

      • Quiz November 28, 2023 (9:41 am)

        @FLIMFLAM, It’s not you.

  • Alec Rodenhauser November 28, 2023 (1:43 am)

    Was underground electrical infrastructure not considered when SPR proposed their list of six sites for potential OLAs? What was the point of their expansion study if it turns out that the finalists aren’t viable? Lincoln Park is obviously going to be a nonstarter given the contentiousness of these pickleball courts. Jack Block Park should be considered for an OLA. Yes, it will require interagency collaboration between the Port and SPR. SPR has been able to develop OLAs in collaboration with other agencies, which is a plus (Denny Substation in SLU). Specifically, the area underneath the footbridge, where the defunct railway meets Elliott Bay. No existing users. 

    • Orb November 28, 2023 (8:32 am)

      Right?! “Here are your options!” “Uhhh, actually nevermind. Bye.” The people in charge of this project need to be fired. What a waste of everyone’s time and money. 

    • SE Dick. November 28, 2023 (9:13 am)

      I swore it off, WSB, you showed evryone (‘See? He promised!’) and I’ll stick to it, I won’t engage the voices (‘relax’ and/or the multiplicities of Diversionarybark) of the problem anymore. But you, WSB, still serve what could be the critical purpose: informing one critical person of what they need to know to push the secret button or turn the key. Alec, Orb, HS or Why- could be the one. What’s going on here isn’t the wacky bureaucratic malfunction or unresponsiveness it looks like. KTL finally laid it bare after ~10? WSB stories/rpts and ~1500? reader comments here, in  below: “They discussed how LP is ideal because it’s away from homes so less noise impact for homeowners.” The few voices we’ve heard so unrelentingly saying just the same nonsensical things over and over again are (some of) the homeowners around the 6 Solstice courts–guaranteed. And I’ll bet they’re pretty fancy houses, made of some money, and those are just the folks our ‘business-friendly’ mayor Harrell (graces with such) favors. So that’s the only argument to be made–how to bless those blessed few w/o further cursing the burdened many–and where the battle goes: to oligarchy (eye roll). Rachel Maddow’s new book “Prequel” is a call to arms abt fascism. So it goes.

      • WSB November 28, 2023 (9:27 am)

        Also I should note in case you’re sort of asking, the pickleball-focused story is still under way, I had to call it quits halfwqy through at 2 am, had eye surgery yesterday afternoon and a followup appointment pre-dawn today but hope to have the story up before noon. – TR

        • SE Dick November 28, 2023 (10:28 am)

          No just explaining (I mean I was asking last *nite*, edge of my seat, thinkin any minit, yeah, but din’t know) my immediately coming agin out of retirement but now to use your still invaluable soapbox to emphasize the only thing left to say, the linchpin (and *still* failed to emphasize): ☆☆They discussed how LP is ideal because it’s away from homes so less noise impact for homeowners.”☆☆ This is all that matters.

      • Scarlett November 28, 2023 (12:41 pm)

        Per Rachel Maddow’s book “Prequel to Facism,” ironically, it was WWII that conveniently rescued America from a double-dip Depression – the second dip we were sinking into prior to entering the war.   Not only was the rest of the world forced to buy everything from America following WWII, the center of finance moved from London to NY, and we stationed ourselves permanently in Europe.  Kinda of fits the description of ultranationalism, doesn’t it? Also makes you wonder who’s writing the history books, doesn’t it? 

  • Why are they set on ruining Lincoln Park November 28, 2023 (5:57 am)

    Why is our parks department deadset on ruining Lincoln Park? Play pickle ball inside, take your dog for a walk (I have a dog, waited years until I had the means, time and a yard then adopted one that cannot use dog parks). So I walk him. We have so few natural areas left. Why ruin this one? I searched the Parks website, not sure who to email directly but will send my comment to whomever I can find. 

    • relax November 28, 2023 (7:35 am)

      Why is our parks department deadset on ruining Lincoln Park?”  This kind of hyperbole serves nobody.  Many urban parks are multi-use, with spaces for sports and animals.  Lincoln Park already has a playground (sort of), a wading pool, sports fields, a swimming pool, staircases, bathrooms, paved roads, and various other infrastructures.  Letting people play a sport on an unused already paved patch of concrete isn’t worth fighting against.  It’s really, really not.  Please find something real.

    • JDB November 28, 2023 (8:19 am)

      “Having the means” doesn’t negate the need for another dog park in west seattle. We have a house with a large yard, take our dog on 2 walks per day, and we go to agility classes, but she doesn’t get the same amount of joy at any of those activities as she does while running with her friends at the dog park. Dogs are pack animals and most require socialization with other dogs. No matter where it is, the dog park will be much needed and much appreciated for west seattle! 

    • my two cents November 28, 2023 (10:15 am)

      @Why are they set on ruining Lincoln Park?  I apologize, didn’t realize you were the person defining what ‘ruins’ or ‘enhances’ a park. I will try and follow you virtue signaling lead and decry any change while I wait years before embarking on anything.


  • Anne November 28, 2023 (6:52 am)

    Of course one of the 2 remaining off leash   options -the one with most votes might no longer be an option. 

    • HS November 28, 2023 (8:22 am)

      I actually let out a groan during the presentation when I heard that. I was frankly shocked by the Parks reaction to how attendees “used” Lincoln Park via the slid-io poll during the presentation.. walking & hiking polled the highest and the Parks person said “Really. No one uses the picnic tables” then laughed in a demeaning way. I remember thinking “They don’t understand how the public uses this park. And that’s why they’re pushing an off-leash dog park and heavy noise activities at this location. They don’t have current public use studies for this resource”. It was really disappointing.

      • WSB November 28, 2023 (8:36 am)

        It’s still someone on the public dime but for the record, the person facilitating including reading the “polls” was a consultant, not a Parks employee. It’s an increasing practice of public agencies (source: anecdotal based on the many meetings we cover) to have consultants run meetings rather than employees … TR

        • HS November 28, 2023 (9:07 am)

          Thank you for the clarification. That does help explain some of my interpretations of the interactions during the zoom.

        • Kyle November 28, 2023 (9:02 pm)

          Honestly how much bloat do we have that we can afford to pay consultants to run public meetings to hide public employees. I seriously hope your new city council audits Parks and other mismanaged departments.

  • Raincity November 28, 2023 (7:34 am)

    I don’t get why they decided to use a FEMA grant for this Hiawatha and they can’t be bothered to update signage why it’s delayed. But projects with private funding such as pickleball can move forward. 

  • Shannon Williams November 28, 2023 (8:13 am)

    We are a pet centric community. We need to make off leash areas accessible and safer. Lincoln Park is a busy community gem. Dogs are there all the time already. I can walk to and from LP, less pollution. About pickle ball….what the heck? It’s BUSY at LP everyday its not pouring… is pickle ball going to change that? It’s out door exercise, no one gets hit…on purpose, and it’s a game created here. I have been in LP on brisk, stormy days when it’s much quieter, and on random sunny days when it’s like a fair…I like it better quiet, but the park is for all of us.

    • Denise November 28, 2023 (9:22 am)

      The park already was for all of us. Everyone had exactly the same access to use it. Now it’ll be mainly for dogs and pickleball. 

      • Karen November 28, 2023 (10:59 am)

        Everyone will still have “exactly the same access to use it”, except maybe you? Will you be losing access to LP because there is an off leash dog area and pickleball courts?  “Now it will be mainly for dogs and pickleball”. That is laughable; LP is huge, there are already lots of dogs, and god forbid–a swimming pool, elementary school field trips, swim team meets, swim lessons, public swim, YMCA day camps during the summer, fishing, the list goes on. It would be ONE area for an off leash dog area and ONE area for pickleball. I’m not a pickleball player, but it would not ruin LP for me in the least. If the noise offended me that much, I would just choose a different route.  Doesn’t mean I think there should be no playground and no wading pool, even if there are many loud children and my children have outgrown those areas.  You sound angry and your complaint is hollow. Camp long has no off leash area, no pickleball courts, and is almost always very quiet. There are lots of lovely green areas in WS for you to choose from if pickleball and an off leash area are that offensive. I get peoples concerns about environmental impact; yours, not so much. Like Shannon, I prefer the quiet as well, but I’m more than willing to share public spaces.

      • SE Dick. November 28, 2023 (11:38 am)

        Denise, *you know*, you and Kersti. You Are The Champions. I now know beyond any reasonable doubt that this is Harrell and Diaz at his direction serving the exclusive interests of beautifully-blessed and -connected homeowners around Solstice. In my studied lay opinion Harrell’s and Parks’ targeted largesse violates both SMC and the legal burden it places on the “decisionmaker” of the p**b* proposal, whoever they may be, and the regulatory guidance of SDCI as to legal exemption from SEPA under SMC, RCW and WAC. You write here as tho it’s done, and again, I blv u know. If it’s done it’s done. If there’s any front left to fight on, I’m asking: pls tell me where to go. (And thank you, you lion hearts.)

      • Jort November 28, 2023 (12:48 pm)

        The park will be used “mainly for dogs and pickleball”? What?! The proposed dog park is 26,000 square feet, the Super-Mega-Ultra-PicklePlex is roughly 7,000 square feet of existing concrete. Together, this accounts for 0.5 percent of the park’s 135.4 acres. “Mainly for dogs and pickleball?” Mainly? MAINLY? Why would people use such specatcularly false language?! Why lie?! Why is there this propensity in these kinds of arguments to just say things that are so demonstrably untrue, so easily disproven on their face?!

    • JT November 28, 2023 (7:50 pm)

      I’m with you on this. There is sooooo much empty, unused, and abandoned space at LP that doesn’t exactly add to the nature aspect. You could put in both a pickleball court AND a dog park and still have just as much nature trail area and free use areas. Truly the only challenging change would be parkingI’ve never seen a proposed change of any kind in West Seattle that was welcomed and it’s exhausting. 

  • Mellow Kitty November 28, 2023 (8:30 am)

    Just let me know what park I can walk in without being on dog-poop-watch with every single step. 

    • Juan November 28, 2023 (9:40 am)

      Mellow Kitty try Camp Long.

      • Carol November 28, 2023 (6:15 pm)

         Nope, Camp Long has quite a few off leash dogs…..probably as many as Lincoln Park. 

    • CarDriver November 28, 2023 (4:46 pm)

      Careful on the sandy beach at Alki. Have seen more than a few kick sand over the poop and walk on. Leaving a surprise for someone to step on.

  • MJ November 28, 2023 (11:17 am)

    Regarding dog parks, what’s the harm in setting aside a small/reasonable sized area? They don’t need areas the size of Westcrest. Way too many dogs are on athletic fields. They ruin fields where kids play sports. Would love to see more small areas where dogs can play, but heavy fines/enforcement for dogs on fields. Kidding, but I’ve been tempted to let my kids take batting practice at a dog park in retaliation for all the dogs on local baseball fields.

    • pop up dog parks November 28, 2023 (11:55 am)

      This! Parks needs to get with the new city council and alter their code to allow some pop-up dog parks at new parks or unused spaces, such as the one on 40th. Seemingly with one or two sections of fence and a temp gate that park, which has no amenities, could be converted into a safe pop-up off leash dog park rather than an unsafe de facto off leash park, which is the current use. Turn the stadium spot into a pop up dog park, see how it plays out. Right now, to the dismay of most, every park, open space, beach, and ball field in west Seattle is a de facto off leash park because of incautious dog owners with not enough off leash options. Here is what pop up dog parks look like in Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue. Our city should hop on that trend yesterday.

  • Re November 28, 2023 (11:58 am)

    Regarding the park to be “for everybody.” When will the upper path w/ “steps” on declining stretch, that leads from picnic area /formerly main playground area, off south parking lot, towards the proposed pickleball court, be fixed? As a senior w/ some issues that come w/ age, it’s next to impossible to use that decline stretch. Consequently, I err on side of caution, which alters where I park & where I walk. If pickleball goes in I won’t be walking area I now walk, though the south path stretch is not an option. This further limits access for some. Though the beach is often great, due to cold winds and rain in many months, the upper path thru the woods is the more protected route. Please fix that part of the path I allude to. It’s a wonder no one’s gotten hurt, filed a lawsuit, nor brought it up in all this brouhaha. On another note, wonder what the grade would be as per disability access throughout the park. Worthy of consideration. If pickleball court wins, then please consider times it’s on pause, for those impacted by the noise. Of course the wildlife won’t have a say.

    • Neighbor November 28, 2023 (12:28 pm)

      If we’re thinking of the same stretch (down, over the small creek, then back up), this is not an especially “accessible” route even if the stairs were shored up with full dirt. But it doesn’t matter because it’s over of many routes one can take in that area of the park. Your implications that SPR is negligent by not making every path through the park fully accessible per ADA requirements are disingenuous. If you’re against pickleball in Lincoln Park for environmental reasons but advocate for full ADA accessibility, well, there would be a whole lot more paving needed for the latter. That said, the park is actually relatively accessible thanks to regular grooming of the pathways. They’re swept, blown, etc. to keep them clear of debris.

  • WS Resident November 28, 2023 (3:03 pm)

    Lincoln Park is a park, not a nature preserve. Everyone with they hyperbole of “Parks Dept doesn’t listen to us”- did it dawn on you that maybe more people want these things than your group and they are addressing the majority? 

Sorry, comment time is over.