The Aubrey Davis Park sign on a sunny fall day. Natalie DeFord / staff photo

The Aubrey Davis Park sign on a sunny fall day. Natalie DeFord / staff photo

Council adopts Aubrey Davis Park Master Plan

Vision for Mercer Island park’s future moves forward.

Park plans are moving forward. The Mercer Island City Council unanimously adopted the Aubrey Davis Park Master Plan at its Dec. 3 meeting.

The plan provides a long-term vision for the park and also serves as a tool to renegotiate the city’s maintenance agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The park is primarily owned by WSDOT but maintained by the city.

The full scale plan and all its projects could cost about $63 million dollars. The goal is to have WSDOT share some of that cost.

The 60-page plan focuses on four key areas: Vegetation restoration, trails improvements, park improvements, and arts and place-making. The plan has a couple new projects and amenities updates, but focuses primarily on maintaining and preserving the park.

“Parks in a community bring people together no matter what,” said Ryan Daly, interim parks and recreation director. “To have this pass so positively after such a large community effort really demonstrates that.”

The plan is the product of a two-year community effort during which the city performed a great deal of outreach including hosting open houses, holding discussions and conducting online surveys. Plan information is published to the city’s Let’s Talk website (https://letstalk.mercergov.org/AubreyDavis).

Daly said it’s all thanks to the city council, parks and recreation commission, arts council, city staff and many involved residents that the plan has been successful.

“There were twists and turns. It took quite a bit of work to mold it into its final state, but it’s because of all the players that it passed unanimously,” Daly said. “I’m very excited.”

After the Nov. 4 council meeting presentation of the Draft Master Plan, staff received some feedback and requests for edits, and then made those revisions.

Daly said the only actual change project-wise that occurred in the form of an amendment during the Dec. 3 council meeting was to remove an optional informal soft surface trail.

Other than that, Daly said the city mostly made small edits to language and staff is now brushing things up to have a clean final document.

The plan not only provides an opportunity to work with WSDOT and potentially get them to share some of the costs, but also makes the city more eligible for receiving project grants. A Washington State Department of Commerce grant of $500,000 already was given to the Parks and Recreation department to improve park trail safety.

Now the city council has tasked the Parks and Recreation commission and the city manager to come up with a recommended scope of work for the grant specific to trail safety improvement. That scope of work is to be presented to the city council in the first quarter of 2020.

Since the plan is only conceptual, its individual projects will require planning and approval before anything can be carried out. Public input will continue to be gathered for those processes as well.

“It’s a lot of fun to be able to work with the community and have a positive outcome like this,” Daly said.

“That energized us,” he added, saying the plan gives staff a direction for their work.

He said there have been some conversations with WSDOT and the agency has been kept informed throughout the plan process, but they have not yet formally undergone renegotiation. He said the city will be sending WSDOT the plan for adoption soon.

“I’m excited to adopt the plan and hit the ground running and get things done,” Daly said.

Natalie DeFord/staff photo Aubrey Davis Park on Mercer Island in fall

Natalie DeFord/staff photo Aubrey Davis Park on Mercer Island in fall

[flipp]

More in News

Alan Roach and his dog, Roxie, reunited in their new apartment. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Al’s new apartment, a community effort

Mercer Islanders give housewares, furniture to formerly homeless man and his dog.

Courtesy photo
                                Elliot Newman (left) receives his MIYFS Family Inspirational Award from Mayor Wong on Jan. 7.
Elliot Newman receives 2019 Flash Family Inspirational Award

It was standing room only at the Jan. 7 city council meeting when Newman received his award.

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Development has encroached on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (at right). Joe Livarchik/file photo
King County files lawsuit to finish East Lake Sammamish Trail

Homeowners have until September to remove buildings and other property from the right of way.

Bellevue residents Marko and Karla Ilicic play a hockey game in the Topgolf Swing Suite inside Forum Social House. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Forum Social House opens in Bellevue

Eastside gets new nightclub, mini golf, swing suites.

Most Read