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@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.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

Police lights
1 man fatally shot near Federal Way Crossings

Federal Way Police are investigating; no suspect information yet.

File photo
Survey data suggests how the pandemic has changed attitudes toward housing in King County

More than half of King County survey participants say they will move in the next five years.

Clouds.
King County weather: Dec. 9-13

Here’s the King County area weather forecast for Dec. 9-13, 2021. Thursday… Continue reading

File photo
Subway employee pepper sprayed, robbed | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log Dec. 1-7.

Redmond’s Silver Cloud Inn, purchased by county to become permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless (photo credit: Cameron Sheppard)
King County Council approves plan for future of housing-first approach to homelessness

The plan will govern expenditures of Health through Housing dollars from 2022 to 2028.

t
Teen sons of Federal Way man fatally shot at bus stop were shot 2 days earlier

Three shootings in four days near same Kent location lead to one dead, five injured.

Judge's gavel
Self-proclaimed gang member sentenced for drug charges, violent carjackings

The 26-year-old man was arrested in January 2019.

tsr
Jingle Bell Brunch tradition returns in Federal Way

The holiday breakfast event included visits with Santa Claus, a hot cocoa station and more.

t
Tacoma woman killed in four-vehicle I-5 crash near Federal Way

Kent man arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide in early Saturday collision

Most Read