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. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/smith-cove-park-development . 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!!