land or building use

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Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Jesús Aguirre

Landmark Park Threatened by Government Sell Out

Petition Superintendent Jesús Aguirre of Seattle Dept of Parks and Recreation to do the right thing and obey the law protecting Volunteer Park by not transferring land from open space use to museum use.  According to: Save Our Parks Initiative 42, Ordinance 118477: All park land shall be preserved for park, boulevard or open space use and cannot be sold, transferred or changed from park use to another use, unless: a)      The City holds a public hearing on the necessity of the transaction, and b)      adopts an ordinance finding the transaction is necessary because there is no reasonable and practical alternative and c)      The City receives in exchange a piece of land or facility of equivalent or better size, value, location and usefulness in the vicinity. (January 1997) Also to change the zoning code to make this expansion legal would set a very dangerous precedent – Allowing a zone code change for a specific use that takes parkland for other uses undermines the City Ordinances and Landmark status protection of parkland. The Dept of Seattle Parks and Recreation has turned its power for the protection of Volunteer Park’s well-being over to the Seattle Asian Art Museum, which leases a park building and is part of Seattle Art Museum. SAAM/SAM is a separate non-profit entity and is not Volunteer Park, who is owned by city tax payers… their interests are not same. Legally, in 2008, Seattle citizens, in a Parks and Green Space Levy, allocated $9 million (about 40% of the total cost) for the renovation and upgrades for the landmark building that SAM leases from the Park for the Seattle Asian Art Museum.  The project didn’t proceed because of the recession. With very little public knowledge in subsequent years, the original $ 29 million renovation proposal became a $49 million renovation and expansion proposal with no justification from SAM why the extra space was needed. And SAM has failed to meet the requirements of full public disclosure and approval for early building design. The Seattle Dept of Parks and Recreation has dropped the ball by failing to require SAM to prove there is no reasonable and practical alternative to the expansion of SAAM and the taking of parkland from park use. If you open the door to take parkland once it will happen again… SAM will be back wanting more parkland for expansion in another ten years. There are alternative ways for the museum to have the upgrades it needs, which should be thoroughly considered before any taking of parkland. Volunteer Park is not only a City designated landmark, but is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its designers, the Olmsted Brothers, in 1910 expressed their opposition to erecting buildings in parks, for the reason that "The landscape ceases to be a naturalistic park landscape, and becomes a building landscape." Part of the proposed expansion is 40’x80’and 50’ high with windows that will be flooded with artificial light and will dominate all the pastoral views of the east-side of the park. The natural open space will be lessened with this expansion. There will be a dominate environment of concrete, glass and light with eyes peering out the windows watching the park goers. The beloved, private and quiet, nature sanctuary atmosphere will be gone along with many of the big trees that will die from the stress of the construction process.  On darker days, evenings and nights, especially in winter, the artificial light through the museum windows will be unnatural and unsettling to park goers as well as nearby homes. For many park goers, the side that will be impacted is their serenity and favorite side of the park. There are far more people daily, using and loving this quiet side of the park than will ever go into the museum. Please help stop the selling out of our landmark park.  For more info visit: "Like" us on FB: DONATE to help with legal costs!  

Protect Volunteer Park
622 supporters
This petition won 3 years ago

Petition to William J. Yung III, Columbia Sussex Corporation

Cease plans to demolish the historic Bavarian Brewing Building in Covington, KY

On the eve of Covington's bicentennial, demolition of this building would be an unspeakable loss to the community as far as part of the story of Covington. Columbia Sussex, a hotel and casino operator, had hoped to make the main building a casino when it purchased the old brewery in 2008, but Kentucky has not passed legislation that would allow casino gambling in the commonwealth. So now CS has determined that they cannot do anything with the property -- with the 137 year-old building on it -- so they want to tear it down. In papers filed with the City of Covington, they admit that they don't have any prospects for the property even if it was leveled. So why do it? Look at the renaissance OTR is having now. Look at the number of apartments and retail ventures going up all over the area. Unfortunately, CS doesn't build those types of developments, they manage hotels and casinos. And they've jacked up the price to almost double what they paid for it before the 2008 market crash -- that no other developer can make the numbers work. They made a "bad bet" and now they want to destroy some of the area's history so they can make a profit. I'm not against capitalism but this is a bad deal for everyone except them. Newport's Wiedemann Brewery had some Samuel Hannaford-designed buildings (think Music Hall, Cincinnati City Hall). That brewery was torn down. And what's there today? A city jail facility and a closed Thriftway big box with a massive asphalt parking lot. Just imagine what those Hannaford buildings would be worth now? Please consider signing my petition to put pressure on Columbia Sussex. Thank you.  

Save The Bavarian
1,121 supporters