Parks Commission denies St. Edward ball-field plan
By JOSHUA HICKS
Kenmore Reporter Reporter
August 12, 2008 · Updated 11:33 AM
The Washington State Parks Commission on Aug. 7 denied a city of Kenmore request to use Saint Edward State Park for new sports fields.
Local youth athletic leagues have been working with the city for years to come up with a solution for over-booked athletic facilities in the area.
The plan was to replace Saint Edward’s existing field with three baseball diamonds and two overlaying soccer fields, as well as a potential cricket pitch.
“It is unfortunate that the Parks Commission denied the long-term use agreement,” said Kenmore City Manager Steve Anderson. “The athletic fields would have provided a recreational area for the Kenmore community and the region to enjoy.”
Concerned park users and environmentalists have long opposed the plan, saying it would disrupt tranquility, harm wetlands and create parking problems.
“Most of the park users love the park as it is,” said Ann Hurst, a member of the watchdog group Citizens for Saint Edward State Park.
“I think the will of the people has been served well.”
The Parks Commission’s decision marks a second setback this summer for ball-field advocates. The Kenmore City Council voted in April to set aside plans for building a dual-use baseball and soccer field at Wallace Swamp Creek Park.
Local watchdog groups complained about that plan because it would have allowed active recreation in what is now a passive-use area.
They also cited concerns about how the project would affect sensitive habitats.
Opponents of the two defeated plans have suggested that the city could alleviate its field-use problems by renovating Northshore School District facilities.
Representatives from the athletic leagues contend that they have already used all suitable space, and that the school district is reluctant to renovate any of its fields to meet their standards.Contact Kenmore Reporter Reporter Joshua Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-483-3732.