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Klahanie Park Update

5/25/2019

 

Klahanie Park Update


 

Dear
Klahanie Families:

Last
night I attended the City of Sammamish presentation on the preliminary recommendations
from their study on Klahanie Park. Before I share the three options presented,
I want you to understand the framework of our relationship with the park, the
city and the development options.

Klahanie
Park is not ours. It was taken over by the City of Sammamish in 2016 as King
County was backing away from this area. Apparently the KHOA had the opportunity
to purchase the park but declined to do so. The 60+ acre park has been
designated by the City as a Community Park—meaning that is available to be used
by a wider number of people than just those who live in Klahanie.

While
the City of Sammamish owns, manages and controls the park, we can have an
impact on their development and use decisions. Now is not the time to run for
the closest attorney, but it is the time to become informed and active in
shaping the decisions that the City will be making over the next six months.

Every
municipal Parks department is under heavy pressure by youth and adult team
sports to provide more fields, for more months of the year and for more hours
in the day. The teams are very good at showing up for city council meetings
with 20+ kids pleading for a place to play their sport. This tactic was worked
well for them and most municipalities tend to convert open spaces into soccer
fields, baseball diamonds or cricket pitches.

This
is precisely the area where we will have to be more strategic in making our
community vision known to the decision makers.

Now,
back to the presented development options. They presented three well thought
out options. Each option will protect the Queens bog and the five other
wetlands as well as upgrade the run-off water detention ponds. The differences
come down to the balance between intensive organized sports use and the
un-structured more open field use that we currently have. Each option has many
interchangeable parts, such as parking, trail use and overlooks. To get the
details go to the City web site.


Option
A is the closest to what we currently have. They moved the soccer field to the
north end of the park, moved the little league field closer to Klahanie Blvd
and left some open space near the play area.

Option
B reshuffled the fields, but like Option A it left all the fields in natural
grass, however it did away with open space.

Option
C-in my opinion, was the least attractive. It covered the soccer fields in
synthetic turf, added elevated field lights and allocated about half of the
park space to a cricket field. This is the most intensely developed of all the
options and appears to be the most expensive to develop.



 


During
the meetings over the past months, my role has been to advocate for our community,
asking Sammamish to leave as much of the park as possible in its current
balance between team sport use and open spaces. I have spoken out against
artificial turf and elevated night lights.


At
this point it appears to me that we have work to do and I see the next steps
as:

  1. Become personally informed by reading and following the information provided by the City.
  2. Realize that we are not in control but that we do have the power to organize and to influence the outcome.

  3. Develop our own list of what we require the park to provide for our community

  4. Make a strategic plan on how we will make our requirements known, understood and adopted in the final park plan.

 I
will keep you posted.

 Fred

















 



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