Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood                                                                             


January 23, 2007




Sergeant Paul Pendergrass

Officer T.J. Havenar

Seattle Police Department North Precinct

10049 College Way North

Seattle, Washington  98133


Diane Horswill

Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention

University District Service Center

4534 University Way NE

Seattle, Washington  98105


Royal Alley-Barnes

Seattle Parks and Recreation Department

8061 Densmore Avenue North

Seattle, Washington  98103


Kathy Jolly, Principal

Laurelhurst Elementary School

4530 46th Avenue NE

Seattle, Washington  98105


RE:      Continuing Disturbances at the Laurelhurst Playfield


Dear Sergeant Pendergrass, Officer Havenar, Ms. Horswill, Ms. Alley-Barnes and Ms. Jolly,


            The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) Board of Trustees appreciates your efforts to address the increasing and escalating disturbances we have been experiencing at the Laurelhurst Playfield over the past couple of years and the information you provided at our January 8 meeting.  Your advice and recommendations have been invaluable in developing a strategy to work with neighbors and the community center advisory council to address the illegal activities. 


            Over 30 neighbors, other than LCC trustees and committee members, attended our January meeting to express concerns about problems at the Playfield.  These problems include:


The Board of Trustees and neighbors appreciated the excellent advice from Sergeant Pendergrass encouraging neighbors to:


We were glad to learn how the juvenile system works and that the police enforce the Parks Exclusion Ordinance, which allows the police or parks staff to issue an exclusion notice to individuals who engage in illegal activities or who do not follow park rules.  The first notice excludes the individual for one week; the second for 90 days and the third for one year and a weapons violation automatically excludes the person for one year.  The ordinance is an important tool for police because they can rely upon reports from neighbors, rather than having to witness the illegal conduct themselves. 


It was especially important to have Officer Havenar at our meeting to provide his perspective about problems at the Playfield and the culprits as he has broken up 500-600 teen parties over the years.  Many neighbors were surprised to learn that approximately 90 percent of those causing problems at the Playfield are Laurelhurst kids and their friends.  It was also enlightening to learn that approximately 50-60 percent of the teen parties are at the fire pit, and that vigilance is necessary at the jungle gym, the stairs on 48th and by the tennis courts.  Neighbors were encouraged to learn that the tagging that has occurred is not gang-related.  We are sure that neighbors appreciate Officer Havenar’s insights based upon his long term experience and how conscientious he is in responding to incidents at the Playfield and in safeguarding our neighborhood.


            The “2007 Focused Response Plan – Laurelhurst Park” provided by Royal Alley-Barnes serves as an excellent blueprint for addressing the problems we continue to experience.  That plan calls for neighbors working together with the North Precinct, the school district and the Parks Department, compilation of a history of incidents at the Playfield and park structures contributing to problems and continued communication among stakeholders.  Neighbors attending the meeting, as well as the LCC Board of Trustees, supported your proposal to remove the fire pit and replace it with a portable unit that could be brought in for special neighborhood events.  Neighbors were encouraged that Officer Havenar supports removal of the fire pit.  The Board and other neighbors were receptive to the idea of surveying the Playfield to redesign certain park elements to promote public safety and to allow a clear view of party areas to assist law enforcement patrols and neighbors who call 9-1-1 to report incidents.


            The Board of Trustees and neighbors appreciated the insights provided by Diane Horswill in explaining actions taken by other neighborhoods with similar problems, such as thinning trees and bushes to provide a clear line of sight for neighbors and to eliminate the privacy sought by party-goers.  The LCC will follow up with her on this idea and others presented and will work with neighbors to increase participation in the Block Watch program as she has recommended.  The LCC is grateful for Diane’s commitment to Laurelhurst and helping to resolve problems at the Playfield.


            It was important to have the participation of Laurelhurst Elementary School Principal Kathy Jolly at the meeting.  The Board appreciates Kathy Jolly’s commitment to the community as well as the school in helping to resolve the many issues.


            As a result of the January 8 meeting and hearing from neighbors, the police department and crime prevention and the parks department, the Community Club has agreed to the following:


            We look forward to working together to resolve the issues at the Playfield and receiving additional information about the fire pit removal and the replacement plan, along with schematics or an example of what the portable unit would look like and the budget.  Should there be a future meeting on the topic, it would be helpful to review all of the options, such as leaving the fire pit as is, removing the seating wall only, moving the entire fire pit to a more public location and adding a “fire permit required” sign. 


            The LCC Board of Trustees again would like to thank you for your participation in our community meeting, the advice you have provided and your willingness to work with our community in resolving the continuing disturbances and illegal activities at the Playfield. 




Maggie Weissman                                                       Brian McMullen

Crime Prevention Co-Chair                                        Crime Prevention Co-Chair

5222 Ivanhoe Place NE                                              3872 43rd Avenue NE

Seattle, Washington  98105                                        Seattle, Washington  98105

206-527-6646                                                              206-367-9325                             


Jeannie Hale, President

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631


cc:  Larry Campbell, Seattle Parks and Recreation Department Security; Dena Schuler, Laurelhurst Community Center Coordinator, Members of the Community Center Advisory Council



Question 5:  Write-In Classes or Activities:


  • adult fitness classes

  • adult tennis flights

  • Alki Beach House is hosting puppet shows (snap dragon in Jan. 2007). Bizzy Bodies Yoga also comes to schools,
    community centers, etc, and does yoga for kids.

  • Amanda's clay classes!

  • archetecture tours, house tours, meet your neighbors (tea?), mother/daughter tea

  • ballet for tots, adult pilates, pre-k & K art

  • Basketball. Why did the CC not build a new court?

  • Bridge Lessons

  • cake decorating, cookie decorating (sur la table)

  • Cardio Kickboxing - Meadowbrook

  • circuit training

  • circuit training -- area gyms
    belly dancing

  • Circuit training, Seattle Tennis Club

  • Community chorus

  • Cooking classes for kids (7 - 9) and Jr High.

  • CPR/first aid, money mgmt

  • dance for children, Karate for children

  • financial planning, home repairs, ballroom dancing, free weight training

  • How to play a harmonica  class Magnussen Park

  • I am interested in Tai Chi for adults. There is a tai chi class at the Sandpoint
    community center, although I have not heard "raves" about the seems to be
    a popular class.

  • I don't know if this is offered elsewhere, but I would be interested in break dancing
    and hip hop for adults.

  • I would enjoy an exercise class, I have no idea what classes were offered

  • I would like to get the pottery classes back that Amanda taught

  • I would love to see Spanish classes for my children and yoga classes for me.

  • In general, I would be interested in a knitting class for adults (to learn to make
    sweaters, hats, etc.) and art, music, dance classes for toddlers.

  • infant and adult cpr classes, bi-annual babysitter's training, a neighborhood fun run.

  • Instructional Basketball for 6-7 age group (before Rec teams begin).

  • investment tips for seniors (experimental college)

  • It would be great to have teen only events - such as dances, charity work (ie. clean-
    up day), etc.  Hip hop dance classes would also be nice.

  • It would be nice to have adult classes offered in the evening or weekends for working
    parents to participate.

  • Karate classes with Mr. Herman at LCC.

  • kids preschool yoga

  • low-impact aerobics for women 6:30-8pm (used to be offered)

  • Meadowbrook kids summer camp

  • Music pgm for toddlers (Magnuson) Dance pgm for toddlers, Karate for Kids/Tweens

  • Neighborhood preschool

  • open gym for 1-3 y olds

  • Open Gym for Toddlers such as at Magnusun and Miller Com Centers.  Also have enjoyed
    the concerts at the ampitheater at Magnusun - esp when they were at lunchtime during
    the week in summer

  • Open gym for volleyball.

  • pilates

  • Pilates

  • Pilates
    Tennis Team for Youth

  • Pottery for middle school and high school students

  • Puppet Shows and G-Rated Movies, Dance Performers shown at Magnusun Park

  • Qi Gong, TIA Exercise Class, Basketball Camp, Fencing

  • Salsa/Swing Dance Instruction for  teens and adults
    Nature Classes for children
    Watercolor or art classes for children

  • scrapbooking days/nights

  • Senior Aerobics
    Senior Yoga
    Trips to plays, museums, etc.
    Art classes

  • senior self-defense (was at Ravenna)

  • spanish class

  • Spanish for toddlers/kids - teacher Sol Fernandez at Magnuson and Ravenna

  • swing/ballroom dance classes, bridge

  • Tai-chi for middle-aged, creaky, out-of-shape people...

  • Tap dance, lifetime learning center

  • tennis flights; open gym hours; yoga or fitness classes during the day (not early morning or after school hours)

  • tennis for 5 and 6 yo

  • Tiny Tots

  • we enjoy the art/play class and music class

  • We need more program options on the weekends during the school year, mid-week and
    weekends during summer.

    Kids tennis lessons would be nice.

  • We really like the Play Room for infants and toddlers at the Ravenna/Eckstein center.

  • yoga

  • Yoga 

  • yoga & pilates classes

  • yoga, in evenings



Question 6: Arts & Culture


Most popular Arts & Culture choices were Clay Creations for Kids/Afternoon, Drama for Kids/Afternoon, and Clay Creations for Tots/Morning:


Arts/Culture - ClayKidsAft


 Arts/Culture - DramaAft


 Arts/Culture - ClayTotsMorn


 Arts/Culture - CeramicsEve


 Arts/Culture - DramaSat


 Arts/Culture - ClayTotsAft


 Arts/Culture - WatercolorAft


 Arts/Culture - ClayKidsSat


 Arts/Culture - BreakDanceSat


 Arts/Culture - BreakDanceAft


 Arts/Culture - WatercolorMorn


 Arts/Culture - OilAft


 Arts/Culture - CeramicsAft


 Arts/Culture - OilMorn



Question 6: Out of School Care/Summer Camps


Most popular Out of School Care choices were Art Summer Camp for School Age Kids/Half Day, Half Day Soccer Camp, and Half Day School Age Nature Camp:


OutofSchool - Art - Schoolage - Half


 OutofSchool - Soccer - Half


 OutofSchool - Nature - Schoolage - Half


 OutofSchool - Nature - Pre - Half


 OutofSchool - Soccer - All


 OutofSchool - ClayCamp - Pre - Half


 OutofSchool - Preschool


 OutofSchool - Football - Half


 OutofSchool - Art - Schoolage - All


 OutofSchool - Nature - Schoolage - All


 OutofSchool - Middle - All


 OutofSchool - Middle - Half


 OutofSchool - Football - All


 OutofSchool - Nature - Pre - All



Question 6: Sports and Fitness

Most popular Sports and Fitness choices were Flexibility & Strength Yoga/Evenings, Ballroom Dancing, and Outdoor Fitness/Evenings:


SportsandFitness - FlexYoga - Eve


 SportsandFitness - Dancing - Ballroom


 SportsandFitness - Outdoor Eve


 SportsandFitness - FlexYoga - Morn


 SportsandFitness - Outdoor - Morn


 SportsandFitness - Playspace - Wed


 SportsandFitness - Playspace - Mon


 SportsandFitness - Playspace - Tues


 SportsandFitness - GentleYoga - Eve


 SportsandFitness - Playspace - Thurs


 SportsandFitness - Dancing - Salsa


 SportsandFitness - GentleYoga - Morn


 SportsandFitness - Dancing - Tango


 SportsandFitness - Dancing - Country


 SportsandFitness - Volleyball - Thurs


 SportsandFitness - Volleyball - Tues


 SportsandFitness - Volleyball - Wed



Question 6: Special Events


Most popular Sports and Fitness choices were Family Night, Cooking – Thai, and Cooking-Italian:


SpecialEvents - Family Night


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - Thai


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - Italian


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - Indian


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - Entertaining


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - Grilling


 SpecialEvents - FengShui


 SpecialEvents - Dogs


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - desserts


 SpecialEvents - SmartTraveler


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - Chinese


 SpecialEvents - Cooking - Vegetarian




Question 7: Other Comments


  • adequate nighttime lighting around the building

  • Am almost 90, I am happy that the community is more active than ever before…

  • Anything that enables us to get to know neighbors/neighbor kids with similar interests
    as us is great.  In the past we LOVED the children's clay classes with Amanda and the
    women's tennis lessons.

  • Arts, sports and theater programs for Preschoolers would be my highest priority.

  • baketball for adults?

  • better restrooms

  • body conditioning with weights would be great!!!!

  • bridge classes (intermediate)

  • CPR classes and babysitter training

  • Displays on Laurelhurst history; important issues facing the Laurelhurst community and
    their implications, strict and clear leash laws for using the park/community center. A
    bulletin board for neighborhood sales, vacation rental offers, carpools, etc.

  • displays: neighborhood history, matural resources of our area, neighborhood kids art

  • Don't know exactly what opportunities the new facility presents.  There should be more
    outreach to communicate the new facility and its capabilities.

  • Don't know if you're doing this already but I would love a new outdoor play
    structure.  My kids always come home with splinters from this one...  Would really
    love activities for kids here.  Including toddlers!!!!!

  • Esercise classes during the day for people who do not work.  Classes to maintain fitnes and strength.

  • Evening and weekend classes might be nice.

  • Excited to see the center is open, would also like to see playground improvements

  • fitness for adults during the day while kids are in school.

  • Free or low cost activities for Pre-K and Kindergarten level.

    Suggestions for after school programs and daily summer programs when school is out.  
    Karate, soccer, music, art, movie night, holiday events for kids ages 4 - 8 (pre-k
    thru 3rd grade).

  • I live close to the Community Center and Park and everyday I become more upset that
    the money has been wasted on the building so wedding recptions can be held there.
    I can't believe we didn't put an artificial turf on the baseball & soccer fields where

  • I loved the toddler playgroup at LCC and baketball/softball leagues

  • I think is is better to have the teens in the park and not on the street or in parks
    in other parts of the city. Perhaps some kind of program for them in the evenings
    would help controll the parting and drinking. Possibly having the gym open in the

  • I would like a one hour yoga class for adults/seniors in the evenings, 7:15 - 8:15,
    once a week. Nothing too demanding.  Thanks

  • I would like to see guitar and piano classes for my children and I.

  • I would like to see more diversity in programs.  I think there are too few programs
    offered and they seem boring.  They do not appeal to elemenatary age kids.  I  am
    hoping with the new expansion we can offer more choices and experiment.  I love the

  • Improvements to peripheral beds and planting beds around cc bldg for a bird-friendly landscape that could demonstrate for homeowners

  • It would be a great thing to have a place for teenagers to get together - showing
    school ID and signing in to attend, perhaps having comfy couches (donated by
    neighbors) a pool or ping pong table and an occational dance (once again signing in
    with scho

  • It's a great community center.  Thanks for all of your hard work!

  • Kids artwork, something to tie the families that live and support our community to the new building.

  • Make it FUN for kids!!

  • maybe a free or donation only movie night and other casual events that bring the
    community together - especially in the winter when everyone goes down their own spider-hole.

  • more pilates & yoga & circuit training

  • nature walks in the park, Sunday afternoon activities

  • ned at least one play structure for kids 0-3.  The current playground is really only good for kids over 3 and there are a lot of young kids in the neighborhood.

  • Need more child centered activities.  Programs seem geared to adults.  Sports are a very popular activity among
    young people and should be encouraraged more through the community center.

  • Offleash dogs are a big problem for me, they chase my family.    PLEASE police dog leash law!!

  • Open gym for teenagers.

  • Organizing community clean-ups builds ownership and helps keep things looking and
    functioning great. We are looking forward to our new center!

  • Pilates Class for Adults (continue program now offered)
    Music Class, Storytime, Arts and Crafts for Pre Schoolers

  • Please clean the basketball court floor regularly.  It is dangerously dusty.  I
    realize this is shared with the school, but there must be  way to cordinate this
    and/or share the burden. Thanks

  • please have concerts and special holiday activities that can be enjoyed by families
    and neighbors of all ages.  also interested in pre-LVR soccer leagues - fun play for
    toddlers-preschoolers similar to the Arena Sports program at Magnusun, but outdoor

  • Please include the Laurelhurst History Display as a permanent addition to the center. 
    It would be nice to have a kiosk to announce community projects, events and meetings
    and to distribute crime prevention materials and info about community center even

  • Please make this rrom available on weekends for those of us who work full time.

  • Possibly take out the fire ring to discourage teens gathering there at night

  • Put in some Barbeque facilities at baseball diamonds.  Some advice for the tree plantings: At Laurelhurst Park,
    remove some of the trees on the west side of the park that create excess shading and block views of Olympics,
    especially from the fire pit. A

  • Sat Evening Family Night, Wirting Clinic for middle schoolers taught by nonprofit "8-6", art class taught by Gage Artists

  • soccer program

  • Tennis courts need improvement.  More tennis classes.

  • tennis for teens/adults, tack for teens, learning how to run your first race for adults, MAIL out whole catalog - email notice when catalog is ready?

  • Tennis lessons for adults, and tennis roundrobins.

    Keep the concerts in the summer.  What about tables and chairs?

  • Thanks!

  • The Cooking Series classes would need to be taught by experts, not some mom & pop
    deals.  Actually, that would be true for any and all classes.

  • The firepit needs to be removed or have some serious planning around it (such as
    lighting, clearing of ALL debris/trees due to fire, etc).  The perimeter of the park
    should be cleaned up of overgrowth and debris.  There are too many hiding spots and

  • The playfield grounds should be safe.  There should be more lighting, especially in the
    area of the fire pit.  There should be more trash receptacles.  Serious consideration
    should be given to removal of the fire pit to deter the escalating illegal teen

  • The playground needs a makeover!  A toddler-safe climbing structure and a sandbox would
    be great additions.

  • the toddler open gym is a great idea--as many hours as can be allotted to that as

  • there are too many unleashed dogs running with their owners' cooperation

  • These prices are much higher than the classes that we have enrolled in at Magneson.

  • we need more gym space. we do not have enough gym space to support all the potential
    programs and people that would like to participate. we need 2 to 3 more full size gyms.

  • We'd love to see more community events (i.e.  Chili cookoff, etc).  Maybe some other
    exercise classes - pre- and post-natal yoga, pilates, etc.  And some music classes for
    infants and toddlers?

  • Workshops on preparing our community for disaster response.
    Workshops on environmentally conscious and sustainable practices for daily life.
    Nice to have an outdoor community herb garden, or a garden that could provide produce
    to the University Food Bank

  • Would like a new playground structure for the kids that doesn't get hot in the sun,
    like the current metal slides.  Would also like a large, paved, flat surface protected
    from cars for kids to ride scooters and bicycles safely.

  • Would like to see exercise class for teenages there is a problem with obesity yet all the clubs do not allow teenagers to be members or attend classes.  Please provide a class for teenagers who do not enjoy organized sports!

  • Would like to see young adult/teenagers help out seniors--perhaps with providing them
    with transportation if this happens to be one issue.

  • Would REALLY like supervised Friday and Saturday night activities for teens ( games,
    dances, movies)
    Craft classes for teens such as jewelry making, scrapbooking  - evenings and weekends

  • yoga on weekends please