Back in June 2011, CHS posted design meeting plans for a 7,322 square-foot gravel lot on E James Court. It will soon be 12th Avenue Square Park. Now, with funding and a permit in-hand the Department of Parks and Recreations is looking to begin construction by late-spring/early summer and build upon the 564 12th Ave empty lot next to Ba Bar restaurant.
“The acquisition of the space was a community-initiated project from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy Opportunity Fund Project,” said Kerri Stoops of Seattle Parks. The Department of Neighborhoods passed the property to the parks department in 2008 who have acquired a steady flow of funds to get the project rolling that will include a woonerf to run “along James Ct spanning between the 12th Ave Park to the south and the new Seattle University and Seneca group development to the north.”
Meanwhile, a movement to create a Metropolitan Parks District in the city to manage development, operations, and maintenance of Seattle’s parks is making progress as the Seattle Parks Foundation has released its recommendations for the district’s structure:
A Metropolitan Park District would generate revenue dedicated solely to maintaining, operating, and developing a quality parks and recreation system in Seattle. A new MPD is a cornerstone of the plan to sustain Seattle parks because it is the only potential funding source that would be dedicated exclusively to parks. Parks would not have to compete for those funds with other capital priorities such as libraries, fire, transportation, and housing. An MPD would also be easy to implement and could be created by a vote of the people. The funds generated could be integrated into existing budgeting and operating processes, which are governed by city laws and by the parks department’s administrative code.
The district would represent a new taxing authority and the Seattle City Council would serve as its governing board. You can read more about the plan here.