A Seattle Waterfront for All

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It’s been 17 years since the Nisqually earthquake.  After much civic debate, a few elections and a stalled Bertha, the tunnel is about to open.  The salmon friendly seawall is complete, Pike Place MarketFront is open, Viaduct tear down will begin this fall, and construction can begin on the new Waterfront Park.  Now is the moment to build the park.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create an environmentally responsible and sustainable waterfront for everyone, with incredible views of the mountains and Puget Sound; parks, paths, access to the water, and public spaces our whole city will use and enjoy for generations to come.  A Waterfront for All. 

But this can only happen if the Seattle City Council moves forward with the Local Improvement District (LID), which provides the last portion of the funding for the Park and will also allow for $100M in philanthropic funding to occur along with the LID. Without the LID, there is no park.  Only a road and a wide sidewalk.

A LID ensures that those property owners who benefit most pay more. The proposed LID assessment area includes areas of downtown that will see significantly increased property values as a direct result of this major waterfront improvement.  The LID will assess a portion of that increased value to help build the park. A LID is used to ensure that property owners who benefit financially from public infrastructure investments pay more. The median assessment for condo owners would be $2,400; if they opt to pay over 20 years, it would be $188 a year or about $16 a month.

LID is only a portion of the funding.  The Waterfront Park project leverages  state and city funds, private philanthropy and funding from the proposed Local Improvement District.  We are achieving a great waterfront without robbing from other city priorities through a diversified funding plan developed with broad public input over many years.

Please help by signing your name to this letter to the Seattle City Council urging them to move forward with the LID and make our Waterfront Park a reality!  Without the LID, the park will not happen---there is no plan B or alternative funding source.


Dear Seattle City Council:

We urge you to move forward with creation of a Local Improvement District (LID) to complete the funding plan for the Waterfront Park. 

After more than a decade of debate about the future of our Waterfront, we now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create an environmentally responsible, sustainable waterfront for everyone across our city to enjoy. 

Local Improvement Districts have been used on other civic projects including the South Lake Union Streetcar, the 3rd Avenue bus tunnel and the Aurora Avenue Bridge. They are a fair funding mechanism to ensure that those who benefit most, and financially, from public infrastructure pay more.  The proposed LID is a fair way to provide the critical funding needed to ensure the 20-acre park is built, with picnic and concert areas, bike and walking paths that will re-connect our waterfront to the city, creation of critical natural beach habitat to improve the nearshore ecosystem, a rebuilt Alaskan Way as a waterfront surface street that accommodates people, cars, and transit and open access to Elliott Bay.

Please support Resolution #31812 and a Waterfront for All.