March 12

Top park considerations: location, location, location

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The process of creating a park in Wedgwood has kicked into high gear. More than 50 residents turned out to Wedgwood Presbyterian Church Thursday night at the first community meeting on the topic and the room was buzzing, especially with ideas on where the park should be located.

Most attendees want the park to be on 35th Avenue NE so that it’s part of pedestrian traffic and gives people another interesting location to stop off at during walks, getting coffee or running errands to the bank or grocery store.

The two sites talked about most were the former Seattle City Light substation (located at the northwest corner of 35th Avenue NE and NE 86th Street) and Hunter Tree Farm (which owns a couple of parcels at the southeast corner of 35th Avenue NE and NE 80th Street).

View map of former City Light substation

View map of Hunter Tree Farm site

The former substation lot is closer to the under-served — or “gap” — area that the city parks department has identified within the neighborhood. The lot also could be purchased from an amenable buyer (likely in the $1 million range). The Hunter site, however, is a bit farther from the “gap” area and isn’t known to be available. Both fit the criteria the city looks for in size — more than 10,000 square feet. Another site discussed was the area directly west of Wedgwood Elementary.

During a brainstorm, the list of desired amenities in the park ran the gamut from basketball courts, wooded trails, a community gathering area, playground, dog run and many more. It’s likely that the location and size of the lot acquired will play a big part in determining its usage.

Chip Nevins, an acquisition planner for the City of Seattle, gave an overview of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Projects, which this project falls under. He said the city has $24 million for 20 park projects and sites already have been identified in a few more densely developed neighborhoods.

Anyone interested in getting more information or getting involved in the process should email WedgwoodParks@gmail.com.

About the author 

Sara W

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  1. Did the prospect of the former Jewish Community Center come up as a park site? I understand it is now for sale. I think it's a great timing that Wedgwood is planning a park at the same time this property is for sale!

    Can you describe/provide a photo of the area west of Wedgwood Elementary? I can't picture it — isn't it all houses?

    Thanks!
    Sally

  2. Yes, the former JCC came up. Given its NC-40 zoning and the $3 million-plus price tag it likely would carry, it wasn't discussed as much as the other sites.

    The area west of Wedgwood Elementary was roughly described by a couple of groups as possibly a portion of the playground (NE corner), that vacant lot/area currently used for parking and possibly a portion of area that now has houses (since it was a brainstorm, constraints weren't put on whether a particular lot is available or not; that would be explored later),

    Thanks for your comment.

    Wayne Wurzer
    Editor, Wedgwood View

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