Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project

Updated: August 5, 2016

Project Updates

August 2016

The City's Survey Crews have completed the surveying ground work and mapping of the proposed trail alignment. Environmental consultants will begin re-evaluating the trail alignment, including the trail's buffer area, to respond to issues that were raised by the Hearing Examiner related to environmental impacts. 

Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project - Determination of Non-Significance

In 2015, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) studied the potential environmental impacts of the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project and found there were no significant environmental impacts and issued a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS).

The Friends of Cheasty and Patricia Naumann appealed that decision to the City of Seattle’s Hearing Examiner.

On Jan. 26, 2016, the Hearing Examiner found that there was insufficient information for SPR to issue a DNS at this time and that more information and study are needed about  wetland impacts including drainage/hydrologic impacts as they relate to wetlands, impacts to trees including through compaction and altered hydrology and any associated impacts to wildlife habitat.

SPR will need to evaluate the impacts of the proposal as it relates to these limited areas of the environment before the project can move forward. Much of the additional wetland and hydrology/drainage analysis would have been part of the final trail alignment and construction documents.

SPR will prepare a revised State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist and issue a revised “threshold determination” that evaluates the project’s impacts on wetlands, trees, and wildlife habitat as required by the Examiner’s decision.

There will be a new comment and appeal period once the revised threshold determination is issued.

This is an open and transparent public process and SPR will continue to work with all parties. The overall intent for this project is to provide positive uses for an underused community greenspace. The project was initiated by the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mountain View and other members of the community.

Location

Cheasty Greenspace

Budget

The project will be completed through volunteer efforts with some assistance of Seattle Parks staff.

The Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project will provide recreational opportunities for families and neighbors to access nature through our urban park greenspaces. The project site is an urban greenspace that has been heavily logged and is overgrown with invasive species. Work is underway by the Green Seattle Partnership to restore the area.  The trail is designed to work in harmony with this restoration effort.

The schematic design provides space for both pedestrians and mountain bikes, while at the same time addressing safety concerns. The proposed trails have been designed to minimize environmental impacts by utilizing best management practices for protecting wetlands and enhancing the stability of the steep slopes. The Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project:

  • Provides recreational opportunities for currently under-served communities, providing families with the opportunity to experience nature and recreation in their own neighborhood;   
  • Provides a link between the Rainier Vista community and North Beacon Hill; 
  • Supports strong community demand for the trails;
  • Recognizes that volunteer restoration work is a high priority for the surrounding community and there is a strong commitment to this project and the maintenance necessary to maintain the trails;
  • Is a creative way to provide recreational opportunities in our urban environment, which is experiencing unprecedented growth; and 
  • Provides a network to build community within the Rainier Vista and Beacon Hill neighborhoods.
  • Provides Parks and Recreation the opportunity to observe and learn from the pilot project's successes and challenges.

Community Participation

Seattle Parks and Recreation completed a five-month public Project Advisory Team (PAT) process for the Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project in 2014 and 2015.  The PAT, consisting of 12 members, was selected from a broad range of applicants.  Membership represented a variety of interests, contributed a wide range of professional expertise, and exhibited the ability to work together in a respectful and professional manner on a contentious issue.  The meetings, facilitated by an outside consultant, consisted of informational discussions, presentations from outside experts and public comment. All of the information from the public process can be found below.

Following Seattle Parks and Recreation's public process, the Board of Park Commissioners received a staff briefing, held a public hearing, organized an information session, and voted unanimously, at their May 28, 2015 meeting, to support the pilot project that Parks and Recreation forward to the City Council.

Members of the Cheasty Project Advisory Team are:
Connie Bown
Weston Brinkley
Melanie Coerver
Kathy Columbo
David Couture
Edward Ewing
Darrell Howe
Curtis LaPierre
Tom Linde
Dan Moore
Phillip Thompson
Sarah Welch