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Northshore Summit Park neighbors experiencing water drainage issues
Kenmore resident Kyle Tate can no longer allow his kids to play or let his dog out in his backyard.
Since the development for Northshore Summit Park began in 2013, Tate’s home and several of his neighbors’ homes are experiencing severe water drainage issues and pooling on their property. Tate says the water is now pooling around his home’s foundation.
“These water issues never existed prior to construction of the park,” Tate said. “I’ve lived here for eight years and never had a problem like this before.”
In February, Tate noticed water in the roadway that seemed to be coming out of the rock wall next to the park. About six to eight weeks later, he noticed around four inches of water in his backyard.
“What they’ve done is totally raise the topography and closed off the storm-drain pipe that used to be connected to my property so now we have water seeping from the ground and filling up our backyards,” he said. “The problem keeps getting bigger and bigger and my neighbors and I have written letters to the city and not gotten any help.”
The park is located at N.E. 193rd St. and 63rd Ave. N.E., northwest of Kenmore City Hall. It is a long stretch of sloped land set in a residential neighborhood surrounded by homes. The park is used by kids to play but there has been concern from neighbors about crime, noise level and a shrinking property value from when the reconstruction first started.
“We do not support the city’s plan for redeveloping the greenbelt,” Tate said. “As a family living in Kenmore, there are currently numerous parks available to the community and we feel that the city is wasting its valuable resources. Why waste hundreds of thousands of dollars developing an unneeded park when the money could be used for something more deserving?”
Tate said Kenmore City Council members are refusing to talk to him in resolving the water issues. The city sent back a reply to one of his letters saying, “because of potential legal action it would not be prudent for any city official to respond further at this time.”
“This statement leaves me and my neighbors at a stalemate with the city,” Tate said.
Kenmore City Manager Rob Karlinsey went to Tate’s home last week to see the damages and discuss the situation.
“We are taking his complaint seriously and trying to figure out what’s causing the issue and what the city can do to fix it,” Karlinsey said. “I told Kyle we would get together with engineers and coworkers touching the project and talk it through and call him back in a couple weeks.”
Tate says the meeting with Karlinsey went “ok” and that he hoped the city would identify the source of the problem and take responsibility.
“I received a copy of the city’s drainage plan for the park,” Tate said. “They did not put a drainage field in the park; the only thing the city did was reroute the existing storm drain and run it down the center of the park and make changes to the overall topography.”
Karlinsey hopes to discover what is causing the drainage issue.
“We want to be as helpful as we can,” he said. “We have to look and determine if it is being caused by this construction or if it is uphill water. I don’t think the exact source has been identified yet, all we can do is look into it.”
Construction of park improvements for the 3.5 acre park began during the fall of 2013. At a city council meeting in July, council members unanimously passed a motion to increase the 2013 project budget from $190,000 to $659,000 to complete construction of all the park’s improvements based on a community generated 2013 updated master plan. The plan contains looped trails, a playground area of approximately 1,900 square feet containing both “natural” looking and traditional play equipment. Landscaping includes wetland and wetland buffer plantings, improvements to the open lawn informal play areas, woodland restoration and plantings to improve the landscape buffer on the western park boundary. The plan also includes park entry improvements, site furniture and interpretative signs.
Tate’s neighbor Virginia Allison said there is standing water in several areas of her yard, which started becoming “squishy and wet” in the wintertime. Allison had to put off remodeling her backyard because of the damage.
“I’ve lived here for 21 years and never had a water problem until now and the only change is the construction of the park,” Allison said. “My husband tried to warn the city council about the water in the area that is now the park; it was always wet and we were worried this very thing might occur.”
Allison said she likes the park, but has concerns.
“It turned out very beautiful and I have a son that’s very excited about it,” she said. “I just worry it will attract some teenagers and become kind of a party place, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the park is here, this is the way it is going to be and hope for the best.”