Laurelhurst Community Club
Assistant Vice President for Regional Affairs
Office of the Executive Vice President
University of Washington
98 Gerberding Hall, Box 351279
Seattle, Washington 98195-1279
RE: Radford Court Apartments
The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees has followed development of the Radford Court Apartments at Sand Point/Magnuson Park. We appreciate the fact that this redevelopment will help address the housing needs of the University of Washington. We do, however, have a couple of concerns that have recently surfaced.
Private Sidewalk on Park Property: While it is always difficult to know what is going on at Sand Point/Magnuson Park, we have learned that Lorig Associates is planning on installing a sidewalk through park property at the southeast corner of Sand Point Way NE and NE 65th Street. This raises questions about Initiative 42. Initiative 42 prohibits use of park property for nonpark purposes, unless there has been a land exchange to compensate the public for loss of parkland. It appears to us that the sidewalk will principally serve the residents of the Radford Court Apartments and function basically as a private sidewalk for residents.
Initiative 42, Section 1 states: "All lands ... held for park and recreation purposes shall be preserved for such use; and no such land ... shall be changed from park use to another usage, unless ... there is no reasonable or practical alternative and the City shall at the same time or before receive in exchange land or a facility of equivalent or better size, value, location and usefulness in the vicinity ... " Could you please advise us as to whether the University and the Parks Department have entered into some kind of land exchange agreement? Has there been a showing of the need for the UW to encroach upon park property?
Landscaping on Park Property: While we understand that Lorig has developed landscaping plans for the project, until very recently we were unaware that Lorig was also planning on landscaping the adjacent park property. There are many issues in this regard. We have been told that Lorig intends to install grass. This would make the triangle of land look as if it were part of the Radford Court complex. This is a main entrance to Sand Point/Magnuson Park and should be welcoming to all of those who visit the park. There is a desire to use native trees and plants throughout the park. We are not aware that Lorig's subcontractor intends to follow this direction or adhere to the design guidelines for Sand Point/Magnuson Park. On top of these issues, plans are underway to develop a vegetation management plan for the park.
Perhaps Lorig and the UW have entered into private agreements regarding park property located at the southeast corner of Sand Point Way NE and NE 65th? If so, could you please provide us with copies of those agreements?
We hope you will look into the issues we have raised and halt further work on the sidewalk through parkland until Initiative 42 issues are addressed. We also urge you to instruct Lorig and its subcontractor to work with interested community groups and the Sand Point Community Liaison Committee, in addition to the Parks Department, in its landscaping plans for the park property.
Thank you for considering the concerns of the Laurelhurst Community Club.
Jeannie Hale, President
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
525-5135 / FAX 525-9631
Kate Lloyd, Magnuson Park Liaison
4303 NE 35th Street
Seattle, Washington 98105
522-8822 / fax 526-5525
cc: Ken Bounds, Eric Friedli, C. David Hughbanks, City Councilmembers, Mayor Schell, Board of Park Commissioners, T.C. Richmond, John Turnbull, Weldon Ihrig