Category Archives: Development

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


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.

How Does HALA Affect Lake City? Workshop this Saturday!

HALA reportThere’s been a lot of press about the Mayor’s new Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). Much of that press has focused on the elimination of single-family zoning. Feeling confused? The report itself is long and complicated (65 recommendations and 76 pages long). However, it’s critically important to understand as Seattle grapples with the very real problem of housing affordability and livability. Wondering how HALA will impact Lake City?

Please join your Lake City neighbors for a workshop this Saturday, Aug. 1st, co-hosted by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance (LCNA)Lake City Future First (LCFF), and North District Council (NDC).

All are welcome!
12509 27th Ave NE (in the downstairs ADA-accessible meeting room)
8:30 am – Coffee available
9:00 am -12:00pm – Workshop


Goals of the Workshop?

LCNA logo with PEOPLE copyLCNA Chair, Sandy Motzer notes, “We are not attempting to seek unanimous support for any recommendation but rather to convey Lake City’s support and/or opposition and/or concerns in five areas:

  1. How-to achieve the Mayor’s stated goal of 20,000 affordable units over the next 10 years
  2. Housing (and small business) displacement
  3. Proposed single-family zoning changes
  4. Proposed development/construction requirement changes
  5. Infrastructure requirements for livability.”


Workshop agenda includes:
Brief introductions to the workshop and to the 5 topic areas, small-group discussions. There will be time for everyone to attend two of the 5 small-group discussions of choice. Discussion leaders will summarize each discussion topic for the large group. That content will be what is sent by LCNA to the Mayor and others on behalf of Lake City. LCNA is encouraging each neighborhood organization and all individuals to write letters as well. Workshop sponsors ask that anyone attending the workshop read the HALA Report as submitted by the Committee to the Mayor. You can find the report here.


What is a “Community Conversation” (and Why Should I Care?)

Open House_graphic snippet

A design concept presented as a possibility for redeveloping property owned by the Pierre family.

Do you ever feel like you’re the last to know? Where did all those speed bumps come from? Wait, there’s a new brewery opening?

Neighborhood changes are often planned for years before the public actually sees the results. A Community Conversation is a great way to find out about upcoming changes AND a way to give input while your opinion can still count!

What is a Community Conversation?
These events are sponsored by Lake City Future First – a group of neighborhood volunteers working to support economic diversity in the Lake City area. While volunteers run the event, they also work with city officials to help bring current information about proposals and upcoming changes .

Why Should I Care?
Lake City is going to be experiencing a great deal of growth and development in the very near future. Lake City Future First wants to ensure everyone is involved in that conversation. Some favorite local establishments will be faced with issues regarding development. How do we retain our unique neighborhood assets and cherished gems? What new assets are desired? NOW is the time to be heard and get involved.

Public engagement liaisons help make it easier for community members to find out what's going on. Translation services are available too!

At the April Community Conversation, public engagement liaisons helped reach out to community members. Translation services are available too!

Please join your community on June 24th at the Lake City Community Center from 6 – 8 PM for the next official Community Conversation.

What will be there?
Free food from some of Lake City’s wonderful restaurants, in honor of the launch of this year’s “World of Tastes in Lake City Passport Program” which helps celebrate local restaurants.

Many representatives will be on hand to discuss everything from zoning to the need for open space in Lake City. The Urban Design Framework document will be on hand too. If you’re wondering whatever happened with the Pierre Visioning Project… you’ll find your answer there.

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)

Community Garden Survey

community garden site photoHave you ever noticed that empty strip of grass just south of Fred Meyer? (You know the one pictured here… arguably a bit of an eyesore?) Would you like to see that space transformed into a community garden?

Lake City Future First and Fred Meyer are working in partnership to do just that – create a community garden in that space. Please give input on how you’d like to see this space developed. Would you like to see chess tables? Or beds filled with edible plants? A mural?

Please share your thoughtful ideas by responding to this quick Community Garden Survey. It only takes 5-10 minutes to complete and could help shape the future of that space.

Inspired? Feeling passionate about this project? Visit Lake City Future First’s volunteer page and sign up if you’d like to help see this project to fruition.


35th Avenue Northeast reopens after months long closure


After a seven-month closure, 35th Avenue NE has reopened to traffic. The road will still have periodic lane closures as finishing touches are put on the Thornton Creek Confluence Project. The reopening of the road will allow for the return to normal of Metro routes 64 and 65.

We drove the route soon after it was announced that it was reopened. The road surface still needs some obvious work as uneven surfaces make for a rough ride in spots. But the project significantly transformed and improved the route for Thornton Creek. The new culvert and flood plain will be put to the test on Saturday evening after the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for King County

The project included:

  • Landscaping.
  • Completion of a new two-acre floodplain and meandering channel for the creek.
  • A new bridge where 35th Avenue NE crosses Thornton Creek.
  • Improved fish and wildlife habitat.

After 82 years, public beach ruled to be private property; neighborhood groups advocating for public access


This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.

This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.


New stairs were constructed to the beach before the lawsuit.

The only public access to Lake Washington in Lake City and Cedar Park was ruled to be privately-owned property, and the State Supreme Court recently upheld the ruling. This after 82 years of paddling, swimming, wading and enjoyment for land-locked folks in the community. After a unanimous vote by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, a network of organizations are now advocating to keep the beach access public.

The lawsuit came just as funding was secured and improvements were made to the park via a recent Parks and Green Spaces Levy. Lake City Live first reported about the legal dispute in April 2013. Click here to read story.

From the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance:

This small, local, Cedar Park community beach, established 82 years ago, is the only water access in the Lake City neighborhoods. It is the only public access to Lake Washington in the 5-mile stretch from Matthews Beach to Log Boom Park in Kenmore.

Since 1932 this beach has been open to public use. Nobody questioned the public nature of this property until it was purchased in October of 2010 and then 2 years later, the new owners and an adjacent neighbor sued King County and Seattle for ownership. By exploiting a technical procedural error made 82 years ago, they were able to take this property away from the public. There is no question that this beach was intended to remain public in perpetuity. Only a legal loophole allowed the adjacent landowners to succeed in their court case.

Resident David Pope has been working for years to bring awareness of the loss of the beach to the community. He regularly contributes to the Facebook Group “Friends of NE 130th Beach.” He will make a presentation to the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance in February.

You can read the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance letter to City of Seattle leaders below.

Download (PDF, 286KB)

You can see a Google Street view of the area below:

View Larger Map

Your help needed to advocate for new community center, Monday deadline

This message comes from the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance and is an important one. The deadline to write the City Council to advocate for a new community center is Monday, November 10:

The current Lake City Community Center

The current Lake City Community Center

IF YOU HAVE JUST FIVE OR TEN MINUTES TO DO SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY—DO THIS. We need you to write to the Seattle City Council in support of a full-service Lake City Community Center. Please do this by Monday, latest!


Over the past several weeks, the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance has been steadily advocating for a full-service community center in Lake City, to serve children, youth, seniors, and all of us. Lake City offers pitifully few services for our children, youth, and older adults. Those of us with means and mobility can go to other neighborhoods, but our many neighbors who don’t are left behind. We need and deserve the recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities that come with a full-service facility here in Lake City.

Right now

Three of our City Council members, Sally Clark, Tim Burgess, and Mike O’Brien, are sponsoring a “Statement of Legislative Intent” that calls upon the Parks Department to report back to the Council by August 2015 with alternatives, including funding plans, for rehabilitating or rebuilding Lake City Community Center. Council Member Nick Licata has been the driving force behind this, but because he is the council budget chair and needs to be a neutral negotiator, he did not sign on—although he can still vote to support.

What we need from you

As an individual or a representative of a group, write an email to all of our City Council members, expressing in your own words why we need a full-service community center in Lake City. We need these communications to go out as soon as possible. You can do it over the weekend, but do it by Monday!

Here are some factors:

  • A growing population of children and youth
  • Many older adults with few senior services
  • Very little park space
  • No consistent programming such as that found at other neighborhoods’ community centers

What would you like to see—sport courts? A pool? A senior center? A community kitchen? Meeting rooms? All of the above? Tell the Council!
We have an historic opportunity, here. We must show a groundswell of support for the current council action, as it is a critical first step on our way to getting a full-service community center in Lake City. We want all of the Council members to vote in favor of this project!

You can send just one email to all the council members at once. Cut and paste these addresses into your recipient line and write your unique request:

Thank you, friends! Let’s make this happen together.