Category Archives for Projects

Smith Cove Park Update December 2017

December 11, 2017

SMITH COVE PARK UPDATE December 2017 Seattle Parks and GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) hosted a project update meeting at Blaine School in Magnolia on December 5. David Graves, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Senior Planner and project manager hosted the meeting. He presented the current strategy and answered questions along with Tess Schiavone of GGN.

(Check out this link for GGN presentation graphics from the December 5, 2017 project update meeting: ) As in the SCP September Update, David again pitched a phased scenario for moving forward with construction of the west parcel. In Phase 1, use the available budget (plus an additional, time sensitive, $500,000 from King County only for the athletic fields) to address the drainage and field improvements, a walking path, off-leash area (1/2 acre in Phase 1; one acre in Phase 2), temporarily site two beach volleyball courts (3 courts in Phase 2 on east parcel), colorful crosswalks and traffic calming paint on the bisecting road, clean up and cut back vegetation and create a staircase to the beach in the original Port’s SCP (S end of east parcel). Building permanent restrooms near the CSO facility on the east parcel can be funded separately (most demanded by FoSCP, public and recommended by Design Commission).

The east parcel is securely fenced will remain so until additional funds are secured. This is a management issue solution for SPR. Per David, SPR would seek funding for the east parcel from various sources including the general fund, Metro Parks budget and other available grants.

Previously, the Port had been exploring options to renovate the east shoreline of SCP and increase fish-friendly underwater vegetation in the bay between SCP, the marina and the cruise terminal. Further examination of this potential work is on hold for now.

The Port must do some internal “percolating” about this potential project and joint relationship with SPR. The FoSCP and all SCP supporters have faith in the Port’s commitment to Seattle’s public and park users who deserve a beautiful waterfront at SCP.

Overall, the meeting was friendly with many questions from the audience.

 Funding and how to ensure the completion of the east parcel was most discussed.  Confirmation by David that this Phase 1 focus on the west parcel is the plan!

 Observation that improved soccer fields will bring families from all Seattle neighborhoods to SCP. Likely to increase the pool of SCP supporters substantially!

 The off-leash area supporters, beach volleyball supporters and athletic field supporters were recognized by David for their overall support for the whole park besides their specific elements.

SCP Advocates!! Speak up for completion of SCP! Email the Seattle Park District Board members (aka City Council members)!!

President: 206-684-8805

The Friends of Smith Cove Park THANK YOU for supporting this future waterfront park!!


October 2, 2017

Yes, everyone, we have an update on Smith Cove Park!! The Friends of Smith Cove Park (FoSCP) appreciate your positive interest in the project and your patience!!

On Wednesday, September 27, the FoSCP met with David Graves of Seattle Parks. As a reminder, David is a Senior Planner with Parks and is in charge of this project. Larry Phillips retired King County Councilman, attended the meeting. It is doubtful that Smith Cove Park, the vision, would be on the horizon today without Larry’s many years of determined support for this park.

Remember that $6 million dollars was set aside for Smith Cove Park with the new Metro Park District legislation. This number was not based on any design or specific input about park plans. A community driven conceptual design was created by the Berger Partnership with a grant that was awarded to the FoSCP by the Department of Neighborhoods. Seattle Parks subsequently hired the GGN, a landscape architecture firm, for the actualfull design and construction project.

(Check out this link for a recap of the presentation at the February 7, 2017 project public meeting by GGN. . GGN’s participation is currently on hold to save money.)

We all knew that $6M was not enough to build a signature waterfront park. Estimates by GGN have run between double that and more. David pitched a scenario for moving forward with construction. Use the available budget (plus an additional $500,000 from King County only for the athletic fields) on the west parcel to address the drainage and field improvements, add an off-leash area, temporarily site the beach volleyball courts, add portable toilets, clean up and cut back vegetation in the original Port’s SCP (SE corner of east parcel) and create a staircase to the beach. The east parcel is securely fenced (thanks to King County’s CSO Project) and would remain so until additional funds are secured.

**The Port is exploring options to renovate shoreline and increase fish-friendly underwater vegetation in the bay between SCP, the marina, and the cruise terminal. The east shoreline of SCP faces a small body of water that is jointly owned by Parks and the Port. If the Port were to proceed with restoration, the current fenced east parcel will serve as staging for this project. Shoreline improvements in any way are very expensive. In this scenario, the Port would be paying for the shoreline improvements as part of their habitat project. This cooperation and relationship between the Port and City would be huge benefit for SCP plus allows the City to divert a lot of money to the upland portion of the park—a win/win!**

There was much discussion by the FoSCP about this scenario – sequencing park construction, first the west side then later the east side. Many members discussed the option that both parcels be developed at the same time or only the east parcel. Much discussion continued about this. Bottom line: $12M is needed to do the whole park; $6M would do one half or the other but not both.

The unfinished fenced east parcel might serve as a visual reminder for our City Council, new Mayor, and the friends and neighbors of SCP to allocate more funds to finish SCP! Advocates for SCP, now is the time to speak up!! Join the FoSCP, Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA), our local youth athletic groups, the Seattle Friends of Athletic Fields and the many beach volleyball folks who are donating their time and money!

The Friends of Smith Cove Park THANK YOU for supporting this future gem of a waterfront and recreational park!!


October 15, 2016

Unable to attend the October 6 public meeting?

Check out this link for a recap of the presentation of the Oct. 6 public meeting by GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol), the architect firm hired by Seattle Parks for the project.

The individual park elements from the conceptual design are costed out . . . some conversations to be had there! Especially the $1.1 mil for the off-leash area! (Similar square footage to Mag Manor Park and that cost $100K ish.) Let’s stay positive; good communications are key to reaching compromises that benefit the whole park and park users.

Ultimately, ensuring that the athletic fields at SCP are stellar is the best way to attract Seattle residents to the park. Due to the challenging access and location, few people know of the park. With more attention, raising funds and participation for the future stages of construction will be a win/win for Seattle!







Friends of Smith Cove Park AND YOU are supporting this future gem of a waterfront and recreational park!!


September 15, 2016


September 2016

On August 23, 2016, the Friends of Smith Cove Park (FoSCP) were invited by David Graves, Sr. Parks Planner, to a meeting at the offices of Gustafson, Guthrie & Nichol (GGN). David Graves is in charge of the Smith Cove Project and GGN has been hired by Parks to build the project.

The GGN Team presentation included:

 Site is a grand gateway, immersion in nature, active connections

 Historical aspects of site by time periods may cover the Native Americans, early settlers, and the labor union unrest

 Sports fields are the attraction/draw and serve multiple functions; people sit to watch games and views of land and water. The super-elite sports fields would be the heart of the whole park. The intention is to extend the playing season.

 Alternatives to grass vs artificial turf, possibilities of vertical drainage

 Infrastructure includes connections, parking, restrooms

 Program for various size groups (medium to large, small, individuals), different sports, range of ages

 How can people get to the park – existing roads do not provide direct access from adjoining neighborhoods

 A public meeting will be held in October (no date yet); to present GGN and the phasing of the project.

Discussion included:

 The $6 million designated for Smith Cove Park was never enough to build the whole park.

 Including all elements of the community-supported conceptual design (by Berger) would likely cost $10-$15 million.

 Phase 1 of the project has funding; future phases do not. Athletic field supporters and Parks are pursuing other funding opportunities (grants, etc.) for Phase 1. This can be repeated for future


 GGN will spec out various requested elements from the conceptual design in order to determine the cost of each.

 Removal of fence around the east parcel (Per David Graves, King County has not completed all aspects of the construction. . .) is still pending. Input by FoSCP members:

 Can less expensive elements of the conceptual design (off-leash area, beach volleyball) get included in Phase 1?

 Over 750,000 cruise passengers arrived at the Port’s Cruise Terminal 91 last year, as a result cruise ships and docks are an important connection

 Smith Cove Park a waterfront park. Pedestrian beach access is essential in order to balance park use.

 Bike trails as connector to other parts of city including proposed Magnolia Trail from 32 nd W

 The Port of Seattle is in process of redesigning North Bay – are there opportunities for creative access to Smith Cove? Possible coordination with the Port on shoreline softening? Federal

shoreline funding opportunites/grants available to the Port.

 King County has committed in writing to open up the CSO facility to park users by moving the existing CSO fence.

September 7, 2016 UPDATE

September 7, 2016

The Friends of Smith Cove Park met today with Parks (David Graves) and the architect (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol aka GGN). We walked the park to really get a feel for how expansive this new park will be (10+ acres).

GGN provided some data/costs on comparable previous GGN projects. The $15 million figure reported in an earlier update is likely low. The unknowns about the soil (likely dumped on site after dredging Elliot Bay) may be expensive. Figures of $20 million to even $40 million were discussed.

An early October public meeting is to be scheduled. An update will be posted with a date, time and location soon.

From David Graves, Sr. Parks Planner: The slide presentation from a previous meeting with GGN on is now up on the Parks website for the Smith Cove Park Project. Here is the link:

Special Meeting Magnolia Queen Anne District Council – August 15th. 7-9PM UCC Church

Representing Queen Anne and Magnolia neighborhood organizations.


Special Meeting: Monday, August 15, 7-9 PM

Mayor’s Executive Order and Future Directions for our District Council

United Church of Christ (Pilgrim Hall)

3555 W McGraw St.

Volunteers in Magnolia, Queen Anne and Uptown have for many years worked through their District Council to improve their neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods have parks, gardens, trails and sidewalks to show for these efforts.

The Mayor, on July 13, severed ties with all city-chartered District Councils. The Councils can continue, but the City will no longer support them nor will the Councils continue to set priorities for neighborhood projects.

The August 15 special meeting is to discuss the Mayor’s action and how our District Council should operate going forward. Please join us if you are interested in continuing to build community, as we have been doing for many years.

The Agenda for the meeting includes:

  • Review recent developments
  • Role and Value of the District Council
  • What do we need from the City and from our volunteers to be more effective?

Share your views with us. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.


Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Bruce Carter (FoSCP Chair) and David Graves (Parks Senior Planner) met the week of July 18 about Smith Cove Park.


The following was discussed:

 The contract with GGN (Gustafson, Guthrie & Nichol), the landscape architects, will be signed shortly.

 The park features that would be completed in the first phase of the project were discussed.

 Phase 1 will include; kayak launch, playfield, restroom, safe street crossings, loop trail around the park, bike racks, and a history corner about the Native Americans, early settlers, and the labor union unrest.

 Public meetings will be held in the fall.

 Funding for the second phase was not discussed and the current dedicated Park District dollars are not enough to complete all the phases of the conceptual plan.


The following was not discussed at this meeting:

 The status of the beach volleyball courts. Beach volleyball supporters for Smith Cove Park were exceeded only by the athletic field supporters!

 The off-leash area

 No mention of an on-site event at Smith Cove Park this summer

 Removal of fence around the east parcel (Per David Graves, King County has not completed all aspects of the construction. . .)

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