Letter to the Editor: Shoreline falls short of adequate public open spaces

Friday, August 11, 2017

To the Editor:

When compared to most cities Shoreline falls far short of providing adequate public spaces for citizens to enjoy.

Shoreline currently devotes approximately 5% of its land mass to public parks compared to 11% in Seattle, which is about the average of the 44 cities examined in a 2016 Public Library of Science study that concluded “expansive park networks are linked to multiple aspects of health and well-being in cities and positively impact urban quality of life.”

Although the Shoreline parks are fantastic, the lack of park acreage in Shoreline necessitates an increased commitment by City leaders to expand Shoreline’s park network if the quality of life of their constituents is valued as density inevitably increases. This is not more apparent than for residents in Westminster Triangle where the nearest public park is 1.7 miles away.

Shoreline city leaders can begin to remedy this shortfall that is particularly acute in the southwest corner of our city, by introducing a bond measure to purchase the Denny’s lot. In addition to filling a need, think of the impression that would be created with a park for travelers heading north on Aurora Avenue. After slogging north through the ugliness of Highway 99 from Seattle, one of the first things seen traveling into Shoreline would be a beautiful park, perhaps with a spray park, green lawns for picnicking or cyclists needing to take a break. The alternative, supported by City leaders is to fill the lot with a seven story apartment building shielding the future site of a revitalized Aurora Square from view.

If voters are asked to pass a $250 million education bond measure, how absurd is it to propose a 6.5 million dollar bond for the City to purchase the Denny lot? What say you, City Council?

John M. Ramsdell


Anonymous,  August 11, 2017 at 11:14 PM  

Awesome idea!

Anonymous,  August 12, 2017 at 1:00 AM  

What a novel idea this is! Fantastic!

Anonymous,  August 12, 2017 at 6:28 AM  

Ridiculous idea. 99 is a transit corridor and the best use of that land is mixed use with high density housing. Shoreline has lots of open space, schools, and parks. Redevelop the Sears blight and have the developer include a mini park or open space there.

Unknown August 12, 2017 at 7:56 AM  

This is a great idea, one our family would gladly support!

Wendy DiPeso August 12, 2017 at 12:38 PM  

Currently the City is proposing to reduce park space by razing 4 acres of trees to build a utility yard. The plans include converting the current access road to a utility road and build a new road off 162nd into Hamlin Park. North City Water has offered to share their utility space, which would save considerable tax payer dollars and keep in place Hamlin Park for the clean air, water and recreation it provides. If you don't like the Cities plan to reduce park space show up to this Monday nights Council meeting and speak up during public comment shortly after 7 pm. You could also offer your opinion on John Ramsdell's idea.

Anonymous,  August 14, 2017 at 4:34 PM  

Nice idea but just a tad underestimating the cost. The property is in final sale for 11.5M plus you would need to add on the cost of designing and building the park.

barbshoreline August 14, 2017 at 5:48 PM  

with the many high traffic roads that surround the Denny area, I don't think it would be a safe enough for a park. Also, as a Shoreline citizen who has visited many of the ppen spaces and parks in our city in the past 26 years, I have never seen a huge number of visitors at any one time. The parks we now have do not attract enough numbers to justify another open space/park. Especially the location that is being discussed.

Anonymous,  August 15, 2017 at 1:35 AM  

What's actually ridiculous is the idea that "the best use of that land is mixed use with high density housing". That's an opinion, and not a fact.

It's Fanatical Urbanist drivel. Fanatical Urbanism is a flawed ideology that is quickly losing ground and once these overhyped population growth projections and fearmongering are formally unravelled, the area politicians, planners, agencies, and "non-profits" are going to have some explaining to do.

No more Urban Blight. No more ugly, treeless, concrete covered, tasteless density!

Anonymous,  August 15, 2017 at 8:52 AM  

I love the idea of more parks in Shoreline. As an avid softball player I would welcome more fields to chose from. However, adding a park to this area is a terrible idea. This area of the city is already crime-ridden and a magnet for vagrancy. The Inter Urban Trail is adjacent to this area and the Safeway is on the opposite corner. Both of these sites are constantly sources of crime.

Anonymous,  August 21, 2017 at 3:41 PM  

Westminster Triangle residents were polled regarding their support of a public park along the interurban trail at the Dennys lot. The poll provided choices of supporting a public park, the lot better utilized as an apartment building, leaving the lot as it is, no opinion and what a strange location for a park. Westminster Triangle residents voted 37 for a public park, 2 for an apartment building, 1 vote for strange location and 1 to leave it as is.

Anonymous,  August 21, 2017 at 3:59 PM  

Source please. Assessed last year at 6.4 million.

JohnnyR August 21, 2017 at 5:04 PM  

Similar to other objections in this thread that rely on opinion rather than fact, scientific research shows that "green spaces have been shown to create neighborhoods with fewer violent and property crimes and where neighbors tend to support and protect one another...These are the findings of scientists at the Human-Environment Research Laboratory of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who studied green space alongside public housing in Chicago." Source: https://www.planning.org/cityparks/briefingpapers/saferneighborhoods.htm

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