The following letter was also submitted to the City Council:
On Sept. 9, we attended the “Red Zone Rally” at Mercerdale Park, which had been organized by the Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks. We were appalled to realize how much property would be eaten away at the park, by the proposed Mercer Island Center for the Arts building and proposed fire lane. We also attended a meeting at City Hall on Oct. 18 regarding the above and listened to input from various members of CCMIP.
In 1973, we relocated to Shorewood Apartments, prior to purchasing our home in Mercerdale the following year. Our long-term residency in this neighborhood says a lot for how we and our growing family have enjoyed being residents of this jewel in the center of a lake. Our three children have received excellent schooling through the Mercer Island school system and have graduated from Mercer Island High School.
As you are no doubt aware, Mercer Island does not have unlimited boundaries. The Island no longer has property available that the city can set aside for additional park land.
Almost every nook and cranny have been developed. The size of the Island homes or downtown buildings have exceeded the norm for our small city. Buildings that extend to the edges of sidewalks and leave pedestrians vulnerable as they attempt to cross over driveways as vehicles endeavor to exist.
Giving a segment of park to private enterprise for $1 per year is outrageous. Many Islanders are on fixed incomes. Tax dollars are certainly another major point of contention in this long battle about building a park. The city is now endeavoring to reach a solution on balancing their budget. The city of Mercer Island does not need to ask us to pay more in property taxes because of the city’s shortfall. Our property taxes will already be raised in 2018 by King County, as they do each year.
Please do not approve such a building, or any building at all, in either Mercerdale Park or in any of our Island parkland. I agree with the suggestion made by Andy Maloof in a letter published in the Reporter on Nov. 15. Conserve all our parkland on the Island and place Mercerdale Park in a land conservancy.
Thank you for listening to and hearing the CCMIP.
David Parrish and Gail Spangenberg-Parrish