Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle), Chair of the Civic Development, Public Assets and Native Communities Committee, and the Seattle City Council approved by a 8-0 vote a package of legislation establishing the Waterfront Local Improvement District (LID).
The package of legislation included an ordinance establishing the formation of the Waterfront LID, an operations and maintenance agreement between the City of Seattle and Friends of the Waterfront, and a protest waiver agreement between the City and Waterfront LID property owners.
“When this public-private project is completed, the waterfront will feature 20 acres of stunning parks, which will reconnect the city to the Salish Sea,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez. “I’ve been working on the LID for over three years, but I know many more have carried this effort since 2009. I want to thank my Council colleagues, the Mayor, Friends of the Waterfront, Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront, and the public for contributing to the fruition of this bold vision.”
“I’m thrilled that Seattle has taken a transformative step toward reconnecting our downtown with the Puget Sound, building a new waterfront for all, and opening up 20 acres of public spaces for all of Seattle. This is a once in a generation opportunity to recreate Seattle for the future, and I am excited that we are seizing that opportunity together. I am especially grateful to Councilmember Juarez for her leadership in moving us forward,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “I also want to thank the Seattle community for your continued engagement with this important project. Your input was critical to the creation of our shared vision for a Waterfront for All. Thanks to our partnerships with philanthropy and the State, less than one-third of the $710 million committed to our new waterfront is coming from the City of Seattle.”
Council Bill 119447 formed the Waterfront Local Improvement District. The total assessment amount of $160 million will fund a portion of the Central Waterfront Improvement Program.
Council Bill 119448 outlines the operations and maintenance agreement between the City of Seattle and Friends of the Waterfront. The agreement outlines a fundraising plan, contribution schedule, a two-year pilot agreement for programming and activation of Pier 62, and accountability and reporting requirements. It also establishes performance standards and creates the Central Waterfront Oversight Committee with 19 members.
Council Bill 119449 relates to the protest waiver agreement between the City, the Waterfront Park Conservancy, and certain property owners affected by the Waterfront LID.
The new waterfront park will deliver on the vision of a “waterfront for all” with 20 acres of public parks, reconstruction of Pier 62, a new promenade from Pioneer Square to Pike Place Market, an elevated park connection between Pike Place Market and the waterfront, and small greenways that will serve as connectors between Downtown neighborhoods and the waterfront. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2023.
The total cost of the project is projected at $712 million. Assessed property owners will contribute $160 million, Friends of the Waterfront will raise $110 million from philanthropic sources, and $443 million will come from state and city funds.
The City will also allocate $4.8 million per year toward the maintenance of the park beginning in 2023.
The City of Seattle held a robust public hearing process. The City Council engaged the Hearing Examiner to conduct four public hearings for assessed property owners during the summer of 2018. The City has also done extensive public outreach, including more than 100 group and individual briefings.