The Edwards Agency

Opinion

County parks issue means picnics, not ballfields

parks/open space bond King County deserves a strong "no" vote on its upcoming $215,000,000 parks/open space bond issue.
   Would you believe that a law has been introduced that forbids active recreation uses in the 80%-open-space-tracts given to the county by developers in order to have urban densities on the remaining 20%?
   There is a pretense of active use, but the lie is exposed by the limitation to "low intensity recreational opportunities (such as mowed meadows) ... provided that: ... the physical characteristics of the site, such as topography, soils, and hydrology are suitable for development of active facilities, the active recreation area does not exceed five percent of the total open space acreage; and provided that no roads, parking, or sanitary facilities are permitted."
   What is allowed here is passive use, not active use. Picnics, not ballfields.
   This is on a par with what King County did in 1986, when it sold Sammamish Valley park land next to 60-Acres Park to a neighboring farmer for a manure sprayfield at around $2,500/acre, despite outcries that the adjoining athletic fields needed the land for expansion.
   Until King County learns to manage what it has effectively, we voters will be fools to vote dollars for even more land to mismanage.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville