Thanks to Owen, for the tip on this one!!
One of my favorite places in Seattle is the beach at West Point in Discovery Park. The South Beach Trail and the North Beach Trail both offer unique and wonderful views of Seattle, Ballard, and the Olympic Peninsula. Every time I visit this area I see many other people enjoying the natural beauty that is one of Seattle’s greatest assets.The area is administrated by King County, who has a very important Sewage Treatment Plant located there, but ‘owned’ by us – the citizens of King County. When I was visiting the lighthouse and beach last weekend I was alarmed to hear that there is a proposal underway to put a ‘security gate’ on Discovery Park Blvd, a gate that would stop all vehicle traffic to the beach except that permitted with some kind of pass from the Discovery Park Visitor Center ['DPVC'].I visited the DPVC today(Tuesday, 13 August), hoping to learn more on this topic. My web searches had not turned up any news on the project nor on the meeting I had heard about. The greeter at the DPVC told me that there was such a proposal, and the proposal was due to ‘unauthorized vehicle access’ issues, including some eager sunset watchers parking in the treatment plant! He kindly gave me some information, which I have scanned and attached to this message.Ok, I understand that people using the Waste treatment plant as a parking lot could be a problem, I replied, but I also know there are many who access this area when the DPVC is closed, for example after 5 pm Tuesday-Sunday and anytime Monday; The city employee did admit that a new gate could block access during those hours. Something still didn’t make sense to me. As I thought about it I realized that there is already a gate installed at the waste treatment plant (though I have never seen it closed, or even with the guardbooth manned). If the main problem is that people were parking in the treatment plant, then perhaps closing the already extant gate would make more sense than locking off all road access to one of seattle’s most beautiful public spots.I was even more disturbed when I looked at the literature relating to this project. The proposed gate location is almost a half mile from the beach itself! I know that there are many runners and others who use the trails to get to the North or South Beach Trail, but many of us also use cars to get down to this spot so we can enjoy the Puget Sound and the beach with our children or simply because we can’t walk down that hill and up again without causing injury or considerable discomfort as a result!This brings me to my reason for writing to the locals’ news services(yes, I meant to put that apostrophe there): there is an ‘Open House’ set for Wed. Aug. 21 between 4:30 and 6:30 pm This is a very difficult time for most people to attend a meeting. This fact, and the fact that I had a great deal of trouble finding any information on the Internet about either the project or the meeting leads me to think that the project organizers are not so much interested in community feedback as they are in passing a project before residents find out about it.Regardless of their intention, however, the fact is that there IS a meeting on Wed. Aug. 21, from 4:30 – 6:30 pm when residents can voice their opposition (or support, I suppose) to this proposal. I’d like to ask that you give this story as much coverage as possible because I really feel that access to this beautiful and serene spot is severely threatened. Most simply, I’ll be attending to try and find out why a second gate will solve a problem that the first gate hasn’t fixed?Thank you for your time and attention.Best wishes,Owen