Opponents fight proposal to pave part of Shoreline park

KING 5's Eric Wilkinson reports.

The City of Shoreline is considering paving four acres of its 80 acre Hamlin Park to make way for new public works facilities.

To Janet Way, the park is an urban oasis of trees, trails, and wildlife -- an increasingly rare sight with so much surrounding sprawl and development.

"To think of it being gone for a utility yard and a gas station for public works is just unthinkable," she said.

The city already has a small facility at Hamlin and would expand it across the street. That would mean taking down hundreds of trees, eliminating trails and displacing wildlife. That section of park is home to the Shorecrest High School's cross country team. PE classes use it, as well.

The city is also considering alternate sites that may eliminate the need to use the park.

"We are still very early in this process, and no decisions have been made," said Public Works Director Randy Witt, adding something must be done to update an aging system as Shoreline grows.

"It's never been designed and set up for how you'd want it to operate," said Witt. "It's been cobbled together. It's pretty inefficient. It's fairly old."

Community members have organized protests against the proposal, saying there are other spots available that would better serve the entire community.

A city spokesman confirmed members of the Shoreline City Council are considering a motion to keep the city from developing the piece of land in question. That could come in the next several weeks.

Until then, Janet plans to fight to preserve every square foot of forest she can.

"Are our parks here for them to mine for their utility yards and whatever purposes come to mind?" She asked. "Our parks are vital to our community's soul."

© 2017 KING-TV


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