County council votes to take dangerous park out of Seattle’s hands

City Hall Park, next to the courthouse in downtown Seattle, has had multiple reports of crime.

King County Courthouse adjacent to City Hall Park (courtesy of City of Seattle)

King County Courthouse adjacent to City Hall Park (courtesy of City of Seattle)

The King County Council on Oct. 19 approved legislation that would seek options for King County to acquire City Hall Park from the City of Seattle and explore future plans and uses of the park, which is adjacent to the King County Courthouse, the seat of county government. The legislation, sponsored by Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Reagan Dunn, was approved by a vote of 7-2.

​​Approval of the motion comes just over two months after efforts began to relocate and provide services to people who had been living in an encampment in the park. After it was vacated, the City of Seattle closed the park for renovations. Kohl-Welles drafted the legislation in response to concerns raised about the safety and sanitary conditions in the park and surrounding area.

“Through having Executive Constantine explore future uses for the park, I am optimistic that the King County civic campus, including the park, will be more accessible, welcoming, and safe for Courthouse employees, jurors, and others seeking access to justice and county services,” said Kohl-Welles. “Further, the many challenges faced by our unhoused neighbors will be better served. I appreciate collaborating with my Council colleagues and the Executive and look forward to continuing this work together.”

While the legislation specifically asks the Executive to explore the park’s use as part of a larger civic campus and outline a plan to provide support and relocation for any future encampments that might crop up on the site, other possibilities for the future of the site may also be included in the Executive’s report.

“I’m eager to see a long-term solution implemented to prevent a re-occurrence of the violence and crime that prevented our employees from coming to work and the general public from accessing government services,” Dunn said “And am cautiously optimistic that it will happen.”

A report is requested from the Executive by January 15, 2022.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Patti Cole-Tindall (Courtesy of King County)
Patti Cole-Tindall is officially confirmed as the new King County Sheriff

After serving as the interim sheriff since January, the King County Council… Continue reading

World War II veterans in Auburn, Wash. File photo
Washington ranks 7th among states for number of World War II veterans

12,364 WWII veterans are living in the state, with a total population of 517,912 military veterans.

tsr
South King Tool Library earns Recycler of the Year honors

The South King Tool Library was recently named the nonprofit Recycler of… Continue reading

t
Two Kent community projects on request list for federal funding

Sea Mar wants to build medical clinic, affordable housing; UTOPIA seeks to expand services

t
Two Kent students at Highline College earn statewide recognition

Sameer Koirala, Caitlyn Jonson named to the 2022 All-Washington Academic Team

Photo of promotional recruitment banner used by Auburn Police Department at Petpalooza. The banner features Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson, who is awaiting trial for the 2019 murder and assault of Jesse Sarey. Photo courtesy of Jeff Trimble
Auburn Police use photo of embattled officer on recruitment banner

Families of people killed by Jeffrey Nelson, who’s awaiting trial for murder, speak out over use of his photo at Petpalooza.

Carriage Crest Elementary, 18235 140th Ave. SE, in Renton, is part of the Kent School District. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District
Kent School District closes as many as two classrooms at 5 elementary schools due to COVID-19

Cases on the rise in King County; 4 schools close one classroom, one school closes two

t
Car removed from Old Fishing Hole in Kent after rolling into water

Owner tells police he’s uncertain why the car began to roll from parking lot but that he wasn’t in it

Most Read