The following responses for readers to consider, together with the complete text of Ms. Friends’ letter, are also on the web at our website: protectMIparks.org.
We salute the Mercer Island Center for the Arts for committing to look for a “location other than Mercerdale Park,” and we hope MICA will immediately reinforce this commitment by rescinding the Memorandum of Understanding to build in the park.
The native garden, founded in the 1970s, has over 30 species of native plants. Like Bicentennial Park (which also would be destroyed by MICA), it is a well-used community asset. We visit the native garden frequently and often see people of all ages enjoying it. The council and Mercer Island School District failed to adhere to their agreement regarding the Recycling Center. If you wish to place “information about native plants along trails” in any parkland, please submit a proposal to the Parks Department. As stated above, people often walk through the garden.
Mercerdale Park is a heavily used park. A structure as huge as the proposed MICA building would destroy the tranquility of Mercerdale Park that citizens now enjoy. Nearby parking for park users would be filled by MICA patrons. Historic Bicentennial Park and the native garden would be destroyed.
Data regarding the size of the MICA structure, not only changes, but is also difficult to locate. The data CCMIP reported is from the SEPA application. The MICA website no longer includes a drawing of the building. Its 3-story height—higher than Farmers – would loom over the park and block the view of trees. However, even at 213 feet it would be a huge behemoth fronting our park.
CCMIP has discussed the use of the park for three years with the council and citizens through publications, mailings, community events, displays, meetings and our website. CCMIP seeks only to engage Islanders, inform the community, and protect the parks. Our requests for a vote, and for putting the issue on the biennial survey, have been refused.
CCMIP supporters have not only talked, they have acted, and will continue to protect the parks. CCMIP has established a Legal Defense Fund to protect the parks. Yes, support the arts but not large, private buildings in the parks.
Meg Lippert and Peter Struck, CCMIP Co-chairs