The so-called Greenway endowment fund was proposed by the Beyond Greenway II proponents to accommodate fiscal situations such as occurred when the City Council was considering the purchase of the Chuckanut Ridge property. It was suggested that the fund be developed over a period of years from 10 percent of the annual budget.
The stimulus for the proposed park district is because the current administration and others have been proposing the sale of 25 acres of the 100 Acre Woods to replace the $3.2 million used from that fund. Best available science and the state Department of Ecology require 300 foot buffers around the Class I wetlands that are the vital component of that property. Those buffers will allow only 12 acres for development. That acreage will be required for limited public access to the property. Infrastructure costs and topographical restrictions make any development prohibitively expensive, even if funded with public funding support.
In the history of Municipal Park Districts, none have exercised eminent domain or increased property taxes to the 75 cents per $1,000 permitted. Any commissioner suggesting such is political suicide.
The proposed park district is the means of settling this 25-year-old problem of preserving this ecological treasure.
Robert P. Gibb