Puget Sound Park sale opponent issues a call to action

Much controversy and concern has been brewing around the prospect of King County selling parkland in North Highline, including Puget Sound Park, for “affordable housing” — here’s the full list of what the county put up for sale, five properties, with a request for submittals suggesting they would prefer that all five go to the same developer.

Three firms responded, according to online records: DevCo, Quadrant Homes, and Shelter Resources. The next step in the process is not clearly spelled out online. During a recent interview, we asked outgoing County Executive Ron Sims about this, and he said that the intent is for the county to replace the sold parkland with open space somewhere else. That’s not what North Highline opponents of the sale want to see happen, like Greg Duff of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (which will discuss the sale status during its meeting this Thursday). He writes:

It’s time for the citizens of Burien and North Highline to say something to Mr. Ron Sims about his underhanded attempt to sell off Puget Sound Park located at 126th and 1st Ave. South to contractors for affordable housing (another word for low income). Anyone who watched channel 4 news this weekend saw that this area is part of the proposed annexation area of Burien. Mr. Sims wants to sell off this park and leave Burien with more low income housing. Mike Martin, Burien city manager, is opposed to this idea. We need this park and unless we speak up we are going to lose one of the largest open spaces left in North Highline. Write Mr. Sims and let him know you are opposed to it. Maybe he’ll read your e-mail because channel 4 tried for 2 weeks to reach him and he never returned any calls. Maybe he is too concerned with moving to Washington DC to actually take care of King County.

The park sale plan is under “old business” on the agenda for this Thursday’s NHUAC meeting, 7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ.

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4 Responses to “Puget Sound Park sale opponent issues a call to action”

  1. I spoke to Sims during a meeting with other UAC members from KC a few months back and Sim’s stated that the park was not for sale and that no one had the right to state it was for sale. He said it was a proposal.

    He also mentioned that if residents were stronly opposed to a sale, it could be taken off the proposal list.

    I find it interesting that currently no real outreach by the county has occured to let residents know about the proposed sale.

    Neighbors to the park who have invested in this community should have the opportunity to be heard at a public meeting regarding the sale of this park and how they feel about it.

  2. Have they posted a board for a SEPA notification that they are converting the land from Public Use to Private? Isn’t that kind of posting required?

  3. When something turns up in a “request for submittals” like that, it’s a little further down the road than a “proposal.” The county online document I linked above is pretty clear. Hard to mistake that for the “idea” of a sale. But anyway, I’m about to write up our notes from tonight’s NHUAC meeting, plus a subsequent e-mail from County Council Chair Dow Constantine re: the park – TR

  4. Thanks Tracy – just letting people know that there were other individuals in that room when I questioned him about the park and wanted to share his responses with all.