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DON Director’s Report; Seattle Aquarium Update; Rainbow Point Park; and Smith Cove Acquisition: PaN Committee Wrap-up 7.18.13

Last week in the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, Bernie Matsuno, Director of Neighborhoods (DON), presented, our Seattle Aquarium friends offered their views of the Aquarium’s rosy future, and we considered two pieces of legislation: one concerned a subterranean easement under Rainbow Point Park and the other, relating to the acquisition of Smith CoveSmith Cove

Watch the July 18th committee here.

Last Thursday Councilmembers Godden and Rasmussen and I discussed and voted to pass the following on to Full Council:

  • C.B.  117826, Authorizing the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation to grant and convey subterranean easement rights to Sound Transit to build a light rail tunnel under portions of Rainbow Point Park.
  • C.B. 117836, Authorizing the acquisition of the Port of Seattle’s West Yard, known as Smith Cove.

Director Bernie Matsuno described the work that DON has done on the 23rd Avenue Action Plan. On July 17th, DON held an open house at Monica’s Village Place inviting members of the community to give their opinions on the project and to ask questions of city staffers. The open house ran from seven in the morning until eight at night to accommodate small business owners and those who work a 9-5. Bernie said this approach was well received and will serve as a model for future, interdepartmental, outreach. The top priority for 23rd Avenue neighbors was a walkable and livable neighborhood. Check out the history of the project and next steps here!

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Next, I was happy to welcome Bob Davidson, President and C.E.O. of the Seattle Aquarium, to the table. Mr. Davidson updated the committee on the state of the Aquarium, including how it successfully maneuvered its way through the lean budget and its plans for expansion in the future. You can read about the Aquarium’s Strategic Plan here. Also, read about the Community Ticket Program and find out how it broadens access to the Aquarium. Now everyone can show their #SEALSWAGGER.

Eric Friedli, Donald Harris, and Chip Nevins from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) presented two pieces of legislation.  C.B. 117826 concerns subterranean easement, or use, rights. DPR will grant and convey easement rights to Sound Transit for portions of land under Rainbow Point Park for the purpose of building and maintaining a light rail tunnel. I’m excited for the next phase of the mass transit plan. On to Seattle 2100!

smithcove2Finally, I’m so pleased to pass C.B. 117836, approving the acquisition of Smith Cove, on to Full Council. The city seized the opportunity to develop a park on this gorgeous waterfront property at the base of Magnolia and I am delighted we preserved this property for the public. I especially want to thank King County Councilmember Larry Phillips, Representative Gael Tarleton (then Port Commissioner), Port Commissioner Tom Albro, Sun Yang at King County and Ethan Raup from the Mayor’s Office for their partnership is getting this deal done. I also must thank the enthusiastic and devoted neighborhood activists of Magnolia and Queen Anne for their many years (decades in some cases!) of hard work fighting for Smith Cove.

Please join us at the next Parks and Neighborhoods Committee on Thursday, August 1st.

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