Community Post

Want a park near 12th Ave?

For those interested in possibilities of getting a park near 12th Ave, here’s a message Bill Zosel about an upcoming meeting that will explore selling some city owned property and getting a park in return:

When: Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 5:30 P.M. — NOTE LOCATION CHANGE —
Where: Seattle University, Lemieux Library Room 114 (the Stimson Room)
What: You’ll be asked to help make an important decision about the neighborhood
For Whom: All interested in 12th Ave nbrhd. (approx. 15th to Broadway and Yesler to Madison)

The 12th Ave. Plan requires the sale of City-owned property on 12th Ave. and the investment of the proceeds in capital improvements in the 12th Ave. area. From previous property sales the City holds maybe about $368,000. The 12th Ave. Plan, agreed upon by stakeholders and adopted by the City Council in 1992, does not call for that money to be spent on developing a park. Now, however, it’s possible that the community could get a new park/community gathering place on the City property, at 12th and James Ct. — if the Parks Department receives that lot for no money, (the assessed value is $770,000) and if the 12th Ave. Plan money currently held by the City (maybe about $368k) were devoted to develop a park/urban gathering place at 12th and James Ct.

At two meetings sponsored by the City in January and July of 2007 the community discussed the disposition of the final two City-owned 12th Ave. properties. The meeting supported transferring one a parcel at 12th And James Ct. — for no money to Seattle Parks for a park. The meeting supported transferring the second a parcel at 12th and Jefferson — to the Office of Housing to manage in a strategic manner to further the goals of the 12th Avenue Plan.

If the money already in the 12th Ave. Development Fund is devoted to park development, the amount to complete other capital improvements mentioned in the 12th Avenue Plan is reduced. We are asked to recommend spending the money on a park. And it should be noted: There is slightly more than $1M from the Pro Parks Opportunity Fund and King County funds already set aside to purchase land for a park for 12th Avenue. The King Co, funds ($550,000) can’t be spent on the James Ct. site, but must help buy another, unspecified, site in the neighborhood. At stake is a strategy to achieve not one, but two new parks for the neighborhood.

The other 12th Ave. Plan property remaining unsold by the City is at the NE corner of 12th and Jefferson, 9,791 sq. ft. assessed at $1,028,000. Many urge the development of below-market-rate housing to meet a current need. Should money from the sale of the 12th and Jefferson property go towards supporting affordable housing? On that site? On a different site in the area? The 12th Ave. Plan tasked the Dept. of Neighborhoods with selling City property in a strategic way to support the development of more homes and community-serving retail. That task has been transferred to the Office of Housing. Strategies for using the Jefferson St. property to complete the 12th Avenue Plan will be discussed. Your ideas needed.

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