The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Public will lose with Cottage Lake Park plans

Cottage Lake Park The public will lose so much by having to do mitigation for filling 2.83 acres of wetlands at Cottage Lake Park that the fill permit should be denied. For the following reasons, as-is existing conditions are better for the public than what King County is proposing:
  1. Except for the concert shell, amenities that are proposed are already in existence, just at different spots than King County wishes. (There is only one tennis court, but that's sufficient at a beach park.)
  2. The current lawn shoreline, with scattered landscaping, picnic tables, and grassy play areas, is much preferable to concentrating the shoreline enjoyment/swimming to only the western portion where swimmers and floaters will mingle with fly casting and boat launching to the detriment of all. The current small dock with picnic table should not be removed.
  3. Replanting the rest of the currently-open shoreline with native brush and trees will cut off the water to both public access and water views. This is a safety concern for children who paddle their floats out of sight behind the native vegetation.
  4. The bulk of the park expenditures will be spent in unnecessary relocation of existing facilities and back-to-naturing the shoreline and creating marshes and a huge, fenced buffer area around the step-across-no-name-just-a-number stream that crosses under the highway and down to the lake. Old-timers testified there were never fish in that stream. Who planted the fish that moved it into a wider-buffer classification? (And it is not part of Cottage Creek, which is on the other side of the lake.) The public needs to be apprised of projected costs for relocating and rebuilding picnic shelters and restrooms and recreation facilities, and also the segregated cost of the back-to-naturing.
  5. It is no favor to birds to install nest boxes where curious children will climb the fences to investigate. Nor is it a favor to (planted) fish to recreate the stream with meanders and spawning pools where those same children will wade in to catch the fingerlings. Put the wildlife attractions in Daniels Creek Park a few blocks west where the original wetlands are still in place.
   The key area of Cottage Lake Park is the waterfront, and the public is entitled to maximum access to the entire waterfront, not just part of it. It is no more appropriate to undo this good, serviceable park in order to restore the wetlands than it would be to undo Kirkland's waterfront parks.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville