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Leschi Marinas are at a Fork in the Path to the Future

April 1, 2016

The Leschi Community meeting on April 6 at 7pm, is the last time for a public meeting for Leschi as a neighborhood to decide what we think is important to the future of the Leschi Marinas. Park property is on the edge of being turned over to a private firm, Foss Waterway Management, to take over the development of improving the marinas and managing them for 30 years or more.

 

The Leschi North and South Marinas are owned by the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. The marinas are public park space.

 

Do we, the public, want free access to use the docks and enjoy the close views of the water and the boats? Or, should the space be locked for use only by private tenants, the boat owners?

 

Do we want to save Leschi Dock where the Christmas boats tie up and people sunbathe in the summer?

 

Do we want to save the floating “Police Dock,” which the Leschi Community Council partnered with Washington Water Trails Association to build for use by kayakers and canoers?

 

Do we want to permit renting marina space to jet skiers and speedboats, considering that these boats endanger swimmers, paddle boarders and small sailboats, as well as creating wakes that erode the shorelines?

 

Do we want park space being taken for a meeting room for the boaters?

Do we want to continue to provide exclusive parking spaces next to the Lake on park property for the boaters?

 

These are all public policy questions that pertain to use of public lands and waters and to the concept of parks and recreation and what makes sense as healthful recreation that is safe and builds community.

 

On April 6, we hope to have a meaningful public discussion. On hand will be representatives of the Parks Department and a member of the Public Advisory Team to explain the project and introduce some of the issues.

 

It is expected that after our meeting, Parks Department staff will negotiate a contract with Foss Waterway Management and make a proposal about approving the contract to Seattle City Council by September 2016.

 

~John Barber

 

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