Category Archives: Community

Map of Seattle street end shoreline access

As the fight over the Northeast 130th Street street end beach continues with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s Thursday announcement that the City of Seattle plans to reacquire the formerly public beach, we thought we’d take a look at other street ends on local shorelines. This map created from City of Seattle data shows all the street ends that allow public access to Seattle shorelines. Note that some, such as the NE 130th Street access, are not currently open to the public.

Efforts are underway by Seattle Parks and Recreation to improve many of these public sites. You can click on each of the sites to find out more information.

Mayor to move forward on acquisition of N.E. 130th Street beach

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The former public beach at the end of NE 130th Street is shown after a fence was erected by the adjacent homeowners.

Lake City Live recieved the following press release from the City of Seattle Thursday afternoon. We will update with further information as it becomes available.

 

SEATTLE (August 13, 2015) Mayor Ed Murray today announced that the City plans to purchase portions of two properties that make up the former N.E. 130th Street beach from the current owners and restore waterfront access for the public. 

“For decades, generations of Seattle residents enjoyed lakefront access from the N.E. 130th Street beach,” said Mayor Murray. “I have directed the Parks Department to begin the process of restoring that access by acquiring the properties using all tools at our disposal.”  


The two properties lie at the end of N.E. 130th Street and Rivera Place, near the Burke-Gilman Trail in the Cedar Park neighborhood in the Lake City area. Earlier this year, the private property owners restricted the public from accessing the waterfront.

“This parcel bordering Lake Washington has been used by the public to gain access to the water for over 80 years. It was very unfortunate to have access denied,” said Councilmember Jean Godden. “It’s great news that the City is now taking affirmative steps to restore this property to the public and to neighbors who know how much it matters to save this beach.” 

“Privatizing public property based upon an 82 year-old records error is a disservice to the neighborhood,” said Councilmember Nick Licata. “I commend the Mayor for joining the Council in reclaiming what has long served as the only public access to Lake Washington between Matthews Beach and the northern city limits.”

“I visited the 130th Street beach with neighbors and community members and stand firmly behind them in their desire to have the beach end returned to its original use—a neighborhood park,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “Many congratulations to the community who worked hard to ensure this space is open and welcoming to the community.”

“When public access to Lake Washington was taken away, community activists pushed the City to recover it,” said Councilmember Kshama Sawant. “Generations in Lake City will be able to swim in the neighborhood due to their organizing efforts.” 

Under the Mayor’s direction, Seattle Parks and Recreation will send a purchase and sale agreement to the current owners. The owners will then have 30 days to agree with the terms, counter-offer, or decline. In the event a negotiated purchase of the portions of the properties cannot be reached, the Mayor will transmit an ordinance to City Council authorizing the use of eminent domain to acquire the parcels for public use and benefit. 

“The 130th Street beach has provided recreational access to Lake Washington for residents since 1932,” said Dave Pope of the Friends of 130th Street Beach community group. “As Seattle continues to grow, more parks are needed, not fewer. I applaud Mayor Murray and City Council for taking the first steps in restoring beach access for those who do not have the luxury of owning waterfront property.”   

“Shoreline access is precious everywhere in Seattle,” said Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. “We constantly strive to increase park and recreation opportunities for our residents and restoring this property to public use provides critical access for the community.”

In June, the City Council sent Mayor Murray a letter urging him to condemn the properties. The letter was signed by all members of the Council.

Road construction projects come to Lake City Way

  
Two large construction projects have come to Lake City Way. They will likely impact traffic as equipment and workers take to the roadway.

The first started in early June at the intersection of Lake City Way and 24th Avenue NE. From the Seattle Department of Transportation:

Pedestrians and bus passengers will soon benefit from improvements now underway near the busy intersection of 24th Avenue Northeast and Lake City Way Northeast. A contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation is constructing new sidewalks and other street elements to improve safety, and expects to complete the work in about three months. The project includes sidewalks, a curb bulb, curb ramps, a new crosswalk, an upgraded traffic signal, and improvements to a bus stop and storm drainage, many of which were recommended by the community.

The project at 24th Avenue was identified through the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project.

The second significant project is happening farther north at the inyersection of Lake City Way and NE 145th Street. It started June 12th. Again, from SDOT:

This project, intended to improve safety for all travelers, includes new curb ramps (southeast and southwest corners), roadway pavement panels, storm drainage improvements and an upgraded traffic signal.

Over the summer, contractors will remove and replace the existing curb ramps, upgrade signal poles and conduct electrical work. During construction, the contractor will reduce lanes, relocate the bus stop and detour pedestrians on an as-needed basis.

The crews will typically work from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with possible work on weekends. SDOT expects the project to be completed in mid-August, weather permitting.

Seattle City Council supports use of eminent domain to reclaim formerly public beach

The saga of the small beach at the end of NE 130th Street —formerly the only public water access for a 5.5 mile stretch on Lake Washington shoreline— continues.

The beach at the end of NE 130th Street. (LCL photo)

Adjacent property owners sued to secure ownership of the property, because of what has been described as a legal loophole, and won. The ruling was upheld by an appeals court and they now own the small stretch of shoreline.

The beach had previously been public for 82 years. Community members have fought back by organizing and rallying to return the property to the public. Momentum within the movement to return the small piece of property to the public has now spread aross much of Northeast Seattle.

(You can read about the case in previous coverage here, here and here.)

Now in the most recent development, all nine Seattle City Council members have signed a letter to Mayor Murray, stating that they support the use of eminent domain to reclaim the NE 130th Street Beach for the public.

A petition with over 2,400 signatures was part of the effort to sway the councilmembers.

“This fight is not over. It is possible that eminent domain litigation may take months or even years, unless a settlement is reached. But we will prevail in the end, and the NE 130th Street Beach will be a public park forever, as everyone intended back in 1932,” said a statement from members of the Save the Beach campaign.

Stairs leading down to Lake Washington offer messages about the beach. (LCL photo)

You can see the letter from the Seattle City Council below.

Download (PDF, 386KB)

It’s market season! Lake City Farmers Market opens June 11

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

The much-loved Lake City Farmers Market will be back, starting on June 11th. The market runs every Thursday through October 1st, from 3-7 pm.

The market welcomes back many of their farmers and food artisans – and a few new vendors for 2015. New vendors include:

  • Deiros Artisan Chocolate
  • Fresh & Wild Seafood (starting mid-August)
  • Jikoni (authentic West African Food)
  • Lowercase Brewing, Mariposa Farm, White Heron Wine
  • Mt. Baker Berry Farm
  • Napkin Friends (Latke press sandwiches – food truck on rotating schedule)
  • Yellow Belly Farm (honey)

On opening day market visitors will find sweet, luscious strawberries, cherries, crisp fresh lettuces, beautiful heads of broccoli, crunchy carrots, and dozens of other vegetables. Kittitas Valley Greenhouse will have ripe heirloom tomatoes, and there will be plenty of fresh basil on the farm tables.

The market is also hosting a full schedule of fun events for kids and grown-ups, including a free cooking class with chef/author Amy Pennington on June 18, the Cherry Pit Spit Contest on July 2, and the Zucchini 500 car races on Sept 3. You can find events calendars and farmer/vendor lists on the market’s website here.