Laurelhurst Community Club
Serving 2800 Households in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood

Public Hearing on the DEIS on Drainage,
Wetland/Habitat Complex and Sports Field/Courts
Project at Sand Point / Magnuson Park
February 4, 2002

Good afternoon. My name is Kate Lloyd. I represent the Laurelhurst Community Club and serve as its liaison on Sand Point/Magnuson Park issues.

The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees has reviewed the Sand Point Magnuson Park Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Drainage, Wetland/Habitat Complex and Sports Fields/Courts Project. We have monitored activities at Sand Point/Magnuson Park since the federal government's transfer of the property to the City. We have participated to the extent that the Parks Department has provided information about park activities and proposed development. We are here today to support our neighbors in View Ridge and the position of the Northeast District Council. Specifically, we offer the following preliminary comments:

  1. We oppose the field lighting proposed at Sand Point/Magnuson Park until the Parks Department adequately addresses the environmental impacts of the proposal and considers a less-intrusive alternative than proposed in the DEIS. We do not believe that it is fair to have almost 20% of Seattle's fields located at Sand Point/Magnuson Park. Our position might be different had the Parks Department developed a balanced plan that considered the impacts on neighboring communities and the environment. It is important that the Parks Department work to restore and improve other athletic fields throughout the City.

  2. Neighbors in View Ridge and the surrounding area should not be forced to endure lighted fields until 11 p.m. each night. Aside from the obvious aesthetic considerations, nighttime lighting has health consequences. The DEIS has not adequately addressed this issue, nor the aesthetic impacts on surrounding communities.

  3. A buffer should be provided between the athletic fields and the wetland and habitat area. Neither the preferred alternative nor the lesser-capacity alternative address the impact of lighting on the wetlands area. It is well established that lighting affects the feeding and breeding behavior of birds and migratory flight patterns. There will also be other impacts on the wildlife and plant life in this habitat area that must be examined and mitigated. The DEIS notes that there will be displacement of up to ten acres of existing habitat. The athletic fields/wetlands project offers a unique opportunity to address the competing needs. At a minimum, a buffer and planted berm must be a part of the proposal.

  4. The DEIS fails to address traffic and transportation issues and the cumulative impacts on traffic. The DEIS notes that the addition of 15 sports fields will result in major expansion of capacity and use levels, yet the DEIS notes minimal traffic and parking impacts. This defies logic. The DEIS also does not address the cumulative impacts of other development within Sand Point/Magnuson Park and in the area. This review should be undertaken to ensure appropriate mitigation.

We have mentioned only a few issues associated with the DEIS. Again, we support the position of the View Ridge Community Council and the Northeast District Council. We appreciate the opportunity to comment and hope you will consider our views. We look forward to submitting supplemental comments on the DEIS.

Kate Lloyd, Magnuson Park Liaison
Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees 4303 NE 35th Street
Seattle, Washington 98105
206-522-8822 / fax 206-526-5525

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