Vote for Seattle Parks & Streets projects on Queen Anne

Voting for the City of Seattle’s “Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets” program is underway. The program is an initiative that allows Seattle residents to democratically decide how to spend part of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements.

$285,000 is allocated for each City Council District; residents can cast their ballots for three project choices in one district of their choice – where they live, work, go to school, receive services, or volunteer.

To vote for Queen Anne projects, go to the voting site and select District 7. The projects range from safety improvements to the 7-way stop to crosswalks in the business district to traffic & pedestrian improvements near Rodgers Park and SPU.

Voting is easy, and the projects are clearly labeled. Vote before June 30th and select your top 3 projects for Queen Anne, any & all of which would be great improvements to the neighborhood.


Camping allowed in Queen Anne parks? Proposed City Council plan includes Queen Anne parks & sidewalks

KING5 obtained two maps prepared by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation that outline the parks and sidewalks that could be suitable for homeless camping if a new ordinance is approved by the Seattle City Council this Friday, October 14th.

In addition to notable Seattle parks the Arboretum and Discovery Park, these maps include quite a few locations on Queen Anne, including:

Per the language in the proposal, 167 miles of sidewalks and nearly 5,200 acres of city parks and greenbelts would be open for camping. All of the above spots and more are on the proposed maps – excerpts that show Queen Anne are below:

Parks & Greenbelts (click for full map):

Sidewalks (click for full map)

Councilmember Tim Burgess, also a Queen Anne resident, has issued a statement on the proposed plan. You can read his statement here. He also provided this statement to KING5:

“It’s just not in the public interest in my view. The legislation, as it’s written today, would essentially create a right to camp in the city, and as long as you keep moving you can camp in the city forever.”

If you have feedback, questions, or concerns about this proposal, contact the Seattle City Council. You can find contact information for all City Councilmembers (phone and email) at this link. Our Councilmember is Sally Bagshaw, and Tim Burgess and Lorena Gonzalez are City-wide Councilmembers.

You are welcome to contact any and all of the members of the City Council. To learn more about how this same approach to camping in parks and on sidewalks worked out in Portland, check out Danny Westneat’s Seattle Times article, Now Seattle Wants to Copy Portland’s Disastrous Homeless Camping Policy.

If you have concerns, questions, or feedback on how the City maintains and operates the parks that taxpayers fund, contact the City Council, the Seattle Park District, or Jesus Aguirre, Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation. Contact the City Council before Friday, October 14th, when this proposal goes to a vote.

EDIT: While contact information is linked in the post above, many people are still asking for contact information. Here’s a list:

Ed Murray

Sally Bagshaw

Tim Burgess

Lorena Gonzales

Bruce Harrell

Lisa Herbold

Rob Johnson

Debora Juarez

Mike O’Brien

Kshama Sawant

Community meeting focuses on the future of Smith Cove Park

smith-coveIt may technically be in Magnolia, but Smith Cove Park is so close to Queen Anne, and so visible to many on the western slope, that Queen Anne residents should have a vested interest in its future.

You can impact that very future by attending a Seattle Parks and Recreation public meeting to discuss improvements to Smith Cove Park this Thursday, October 6th from 6:30pm to 8pm at the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd.

At the meeting, residents can learn about the project, meet the design team, and provide feedback and input on the design of the waterfront park. The project develops the recently acquired 4.9 acre waterfront property and makes improvements to the existing playfield at Smith Cove Park.

An expanded Smith Cove Park will provide recreational opportunities for all ages and abilities, increase environmental-sensitivity, and make the park inviting and usable for more people. Proposed improvements include:

  • Athletic sport (field play) ‡
  • Medium to large events (fairs, social club events)
  • Playing sand volleyball
  • Safe connections for pedestrians, bikes, and vehicles
  • Parking ‡
  • Restrooms
  • Small gatherings (picnics) ‡
  • Wildlife watching ‡
  • Running ‡
  • Trail walking ‡
  • Biking ‡
  • Children’s play ‡
  • Kayaking and craft boating

Seattle residents have been enjoying the natural area just west of Pier 91 at the base of Magnolia for years. You can learn more about Smith Cove’s history from 1850 to present day at the meeting, and help shape it’s future going forward.

Thoughts on Bhy Kracke Park? Attend Wednesday’s QACC meeting to learn about renovations

Bhy Kracke Park upperIf you use Bhy Kracke Park and have input on future improvements, mark this week’s Queen Anne Community Council meeting on your calendar. This Wednesday, September 7th, the QACC hosts Seattle Parks and Recreation at its regular monthly meeting. The meeting begins at 7:30pm at Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St).

Seattle Parks and Recreation is planning to start the Bhy Kracke Park project next summer, with an estimated completion date of Fall 2017. Planning kicked off last week and runs through Spring 2017, with the QACC meeting as the first public meeting. Residents are invited to attend and ask questions of the Project Manager and also provide feedback.

Bhy Kracke PlaygroundSeattle Park District provides $261,000 for planning, design and construction. Planned improvements include new retaining walls, wider pathways, and plant restoration. Parks is also looking for input on the arbor to the south of the playground. The playground will be closed during the restoration work.

The QACC agenda also includes elections and committee reports – you do not need to be a QACC member to attend to discuss Bhy Kracke Park (or any other QACC meeting).

7:30 – Adoption of Agenda
7:35 – Open Forum-comments from the attendees
7:45 – Bye Kracke Park-Seattle Parks
8:30 – QACC annual election committee
8:35 – Committee Reports
9:25 – New Business

Uptown Alliance meets Thursday: Updated agenda with Sound Transit, Uptown Urban Framework, and more

The Uptown Alliance is kicking off the year with its first meeting of 2016. In addition to officer elections, the agenda includes presentations on the Uptown Urban Design Framework and parking study, the Roy St shelter, and an update on Uptown parks. All are welcome to attend the meeting at 7pm, Thursday, January 14, 2015 in the Community Room at the EXPO Apartments (100 Republican St).

Here’s the full agenda:

7:00 – 7:10   Welcome and introductions

7:05 – 7:50   Sound Transit 3 presentation

7:10 – 7:20   Uptown Urban Design Framework & parking study

7:20 – 7:30   157 Roy shelter update

7:30 – 7:40   Queen Anne Land Use Review Committee (LURC) update

7:40 – 7:50   Uptown Parks Activation update

7:50 – 8:00   Transportation committee update

8:00 – 8:30   Election of Uptown Alliance officers for 2016

8:30 – 9:00  Topics of concern, approve November meeting minutes

Seattle Parks recruiting park users for focus groups on dog parks and more

Seattle Dog ParksYou may recall the Seattle Parks survey on off-leash dog parks that we posted on back in July. The survey was just part 1 of a 3-part approach to arrive at a plan for dog parks (aka off-leash areas or OLAs). The OLA Strategic plan will identify a long-term plan for the City’s existing 14 OLAs, and for maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of OLA projects.

Dog owners and non-dog owners alike are encouraged to participate. The City is looking for people use the Parks system; it’s ultimately seeking a diverse group of people who can speak for the variety of uses and needs our Park system serves.

The focus groups will consist of conversations about how the City can balance the needs of people and dogs in parks. There are currently only 14 Off Leash Areas in the entire city, and only one on Queen Anne at Lower Kinnear Park – a great location for those on Lower Queen Anne/Uptown, but not so convenient for those residents further up the hill or on North Queen Anne.

To participate, fill out the online form and at the end of the questionnaire, you’ll be able to choose from seven different meeting times/places:

  • Tuesday 10/13, 6-8pm, Green Lake Community Center
  • Thursday 10/15, 6-8pm, Camp Long
  • Saturday 10/17, 10-12pm, Jefferson Golf Clubhouse
  • Saturday 10/17, 1:30-3:30pm, Garfield Community Center
  • Tuesday 10/20, 9:30-11:30am, Magnuson Campus
  • Wednesday 10/21, 6:30-8:30pm, Bitter Lake Community Center
  • Tuesday 10/27, 6-8pm, Magnolia Community Center

Apply to participate in a focus group here by Friday, October 9th. The City will contact you on Monday, October 12th if you’re selected to join in the discussion, and keep the momentum going on getting more dog parks in the city.

Dog owners, take heed and leash your pets at Queen Anne parks or face fines

Seattle Dog ParksA reader alerted us to increased Big Howe Park patrols by Seattle Animal Shelter officers. They are issuing tickets to owners of unleashed dogs and multiple citations have been doled out by SAS. I checked around, and West Seattle Blog has reported that SAS is back up to full staff this year and will be increasing patrols of city parks.

Per the WSB:

“Seattle Animal Shelter says it’s back up to full staff and so, as director Don Jordan puts it, “folks not only in Lincoln Park but around the city will see a more-concerted effort back in the parks again to (encourage) off-leash compliance and compliance with our licensing law.”

SAS is definitely now upping their patrols on Queen Anne, and the fees are not cheap. In addition to be cited for having your dog off-leash, you can also be subject to fees for not having a pet license or carrying poop bags. The full list of violations and associated fees is online.

While we have a few un-official dog parks on Queen Anne, the only place to allow your pet to legally roam without a leash is in city-sanctioned off leash areas. If you are looking for legal options, try Lower Kinnear Park’s off-leash area, or hop over to Magnolia Manor.

Celebrate Lower Kinnear Park at grand opening on Saturday

Lower Kinnear Park has received quite a facelift thanks to a park improvement project that has revamped the park, added a dog park, refurbished the tennis court, and more – and now it’s time to celebrate the snazzy improvements with a grand opening tomorrow, Saturday, April 26.

Kinnear PosterLower Kinnear Park is a 10-acre sustainable forest that boasts one of five madrone forests in Seattle. A Seattle city landmark, the park has been updated with a widened pathway through the forested grounds planted with native plants – the removal of invasive non-native plants was also part of the forest improvements.

FOLKpark (Friends of Lower Kinnear Park) raised nearly $1 million for the renovation, and they’re co-sponsoring the celebration event with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

All are welcome to attend the celebration, and FOLKpark is encouraging people to bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Queen Anne Food Bank.

Join the celebration from 1pm to 3pm at Lower Kinnear Park (601 W Roy St) and take part in games, a scavenger hunt, pickle ball, a native bird tour, dog park tour, tree talk, and more. Live music will help set the festive stage for the community event, and all are welcome!

Hot kids? Take them to the East Queen Anne Playground wading pool, open three days a week

Little Howe Wading PoolOh, it was hot today, no doubt about it. And, tomorrow (Monday) is going to be a repeat. So, what can you do? Well, if you have little ones, the Little Howe Park wading pool is open for the season. It operates 3 days a week – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – the perfect days this week since they fall during our heat wave.

Little Howe Park (or, as calls it, East Queen Anne Playground) is at 1912 Warren Ave N, and the wading pool hours are noon-7pm.

The season is definitely here, let’s just hope our heat waves restrict themselves to 3 days a week!

Public meeting to celebrate and discuss dog parks is scheduled for May 8

The Seattle Parks department is joining with Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) for a general meeting this Wednesday, May 8th, and the public is invited to join in the discussion. The meeting takes place at the Park Board Room (100 Dexter Ave N), 6:30pm-8:30pm.

LKP OLA approach

Lower Kinnear Park Off-Leash Area

COLA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was formed to obtain and maintain off-leash dog exercise areas in Seattle. Along with Seattle Parks, the COLA Board of Directors will be celebrating the openings of two new off-leash areas – one at Magnolia Manor Park and the other at our local Lower Kinnear Park.

In addition, the meeting will be a forum to share important updates and upcoming events, as well as hold a roundtable discussion on key topics such as events, fundraisers, marketing, education, volunteers, partnerships, and newsletters. Attendees will also be able to learn about the benefits of COLA membership and how to join. COLA member dues help improve existing off-leash areas, support the newsletter, phone line, and creation of educational brochures and materials.

All are welcome – although, please note, dogs must stay at home and sit this one out.