Seattle City Council
8/15/2005 5:00:00 PM
COUNCIL EXTENDS DEADLINE TO SUPPORT SOUNDWAY WETLANDS
City property, purchased half a century ago, may become habitat
SEATTLE –Today, the City Council passed a resolution extending the deadline for community and preservation groups working to raise funds for the preservation of property at “Soundway West” as open space and wetland habitat. The new deadline is December 31, 2006.
In the 1950s and 1960s Seattle purchased two vacant properties for the Soundway project to build a bridge to Vashon Island that was subsequently canceled. Among them is a parcel called “Soundway” with significant acreage near South Seattle Community College between 9th and 15th Avenues SW.
"This resolution builds on tremendous community commitment to preserve this precious piece of open space and wildlife habitat,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin, who sponsored the legislation. “We can achieve greater ecological sustainability in partnership with the community."
Community members want a portion of Soundway, West of 13th Avenue SW (“Soundway West”) kept as open space because of its proximity to the West Duwamish Greenbelt, South Seattle Community College, and the proposed Riverview trail. The wetlands and steep slopes on portions of the site and the existing vegetative cover could all provide habitat.
The Washington State Legislature has appropriated $500,000 to preserve this open space as greenbelt and the 2006 Endorsed Budget identified revenues from the sale of surplus property, including Soundway West, to fund Asian Counseling and Referral Service, the Colman School – African American Heritage Museum and the Wing Luke Museum. The Council continues to support funding for these project in the 2006 Proposed Budget and calls on the Mayor to find resources to fund projects in the 2006 Budget.
"We support funding the Wing Luke Museum, the African American Heritage Museum and the Asian Counseling and Referral Service,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, “but funding these great organizations does not need to be at the expense of our environment and other neighborhoods. It's not an either or situation." said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, co-sponsor of the legislation. He added, "The community has done a great job in meeting the challenge of raising money to save this open space and if they need more time, we should grant them that opportunity." "I continue to be inspired by the enthusiasm of community stewards,” says Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Council’s committee on the environment. “Volunteers like Nancy Whitlock and Matt Houghton are fighting to preserve this parcel for future generations and it is a very noble cause."