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County Council to hold public hearing on transfer of park parcel to Auburn
At a point about a quarter-mile past the turnoff from Eighth Street on sunny summer days, people park on the west side of 104th Avenue Southeast before dropping down a trail to swim and enjoy themselves at a bend on the Green River below.
Having fun is good — but parking willy-nilly along the busy corridor, City officials say, is dangerous.
If the City of Auburn can persuade King County to transfer a 7.7-acre parcel of land at the north end of 103rd Avenue Southeast, along with 104th Street one of two access points to the river bank, the City would one day enfold the riverside gathering spot into a new 14.07-acre park.
"Nothing in our master plan has been done on it, yet," said Daryl Faber, director of Auburn's department of Arts, Parks and Recreation, "but our goal is to create a waterfront park in the future that has some internal parking. Right now, parking is off the road and unsafe."
Any development of the site is years away, Faber added, but under all scenarios the City would remove non-native blackberry bushes. It could also bring in bathrooms.
The time to speak up about that, to say yes or no, is at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Room 1001 at the King County Courthouse. That's when the King County Council takes public testimony on a proposed ordinance that would authorize County Executive Dow Constantine to enter into an interlocal transfer agreement with the City.
Having wrapped up its own discussions with the City, King County now needs to hear from the public.
An adjacent 6.3 acre parcel, including that access point off of 104th Avenue Southeast, is state-owned but City officials say Gov. Chris Gregoire has already signed the transfer documents.
"The parcels are so small that neither the county nor the state are interested in improving the property or maintaining them," Faber said.
The document directs the county to transfer ownership within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement.
"This is the right thing to do to get control over some local space," Faber said.
Copies of proposed ordinance 2012-0242 are available upon request from the Clerk of the King County Council, Room 1200, King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, telephone (206) 296-1020.
The ordinance is available at www.metrokc.gov.