City Council takes Hamlin Park off the maintenance facility list as supporters pack the Council meeting Monday

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ridgecrest resident Janet Way organized the opposition
joined by dozens of residents from all over the city.
The Beck family, mother Veronica, son Otto, and daughter Etta
made their own signs.
Photo by Wayne Pridemore

By Diane Hettrick

Every seat was taken at the Shoreline City Council meeting Monday, October 9, as Hamlin Park supporters rallied to express their opposition to the proposal to clear cut several acres of Hamlin Park for a public works maintenance facility.

Hamlin Park is an 80 acre forest on 15th NE in Shoreline, north of the Fircrest facility and Public Health Lab.

Residents showed up to the council meeting October 9
Photo by Wayne Pridemore

The public works and parks department are struggling with inadequate facilities, small spaces which are spread throughout the city. They are increasing hours for maintenance staff, from part-time to full-time. They are planning for the assumption of Ronald Wastewater staff and equipment.

They are also planning for space to assume the Shoreline portion of the Seattle Public Utilities water department - a plan which has been on hold since Ed Murray was elected Seattle's mayor.

Brugger's Bog property in 2013
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Public Works, under previous leadership, led the city to purchase and shut down a King county maintenance facility on 25th NE just off Ballinger Way. Plans were made to use it as the primary maintenance yard. It has now been decided that the site is inadequate, on wetlands, and far too close to Brugger's Bog and Ballinger Creek, which is proposed for daylighting.

Staff were tasked with evaluating potential sites, all on city-owned land. The goal was to have space for staff, for all the public works and parks maintenance trucks, a fuel station, washing station, and all the supplies, such as sand and gravel.

Current one acre maintenance yard at Hamlin Park
Photo courtesy City of Shoreline

Sites under consideration were Keough Park (briefly), Brugger's Bog, Ballinger Portal, Hamlin Park, and sometimes the Ronald Wastewater property (after the assumption into the City). It was clear that Hamlin Park was the favorite because it was potentially the largest.

People lined up to speak against the proposal
Photo by Wayne Pridemore

However, it would have meant expanding the current one acre site to four acres, clear cutting the trees and pouring concrete. It would also have meant cutting a new road through the trees.

It was a suggestion in conflict with the city's role as a Tree City, the Parks department goal to acquire more park space, the King County Million Tree initiative, and the City's own initiatives to combat climate change.

Ridgecrest resident Gini Paulson said that preservation
of trees and greenbelts are important to
Shoreline's future generations
Photo by Wayne Pridemore
Ironically, at the same time that Shoreline was considering cutting several acres of forest, Lake Forest Park was raising money to purchase five acres of forest in their city.

Shoreline council members heard from citizens opposed to the Hamlin Plan. Save Hamlin Park signs sprinkled the city. And Monday's council meeting was packed.

At Monday's meeting, Councilmember Jesse Salomon introduced a resolution to take Hamlin Park off the list. The council members voted unanimously in agreement.


Anonymous,  October 11, 2017 at 5:42 AM  

Thank you, local environmental activists! Great news.

Janet Way October 12, 2017 at 8:37 AM  

All, I want to thank the hundreds of citizens who stood up and supported this effort and told the council to shut down the ridiculous plan that Public Works attempted to ram through.

And thanks to the City Councilmembers who took a brave action to assert their authority.

That is what democracy looks like! Long live Hamlin Park and our love for our environment!

Anonymous,  October 12, 2017 at 10:28 AM  

Thank you Janet Way and Shoreline Area News!! Many of us would not have known this was even being considered. Glad we will still have trees instead of trucks in the park!

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