County council votes to take dangerous park out of Seattle’s hands

City Hall Park, next to the courthouse in downtown Seattle, has had multiple reports of crime.

King County Courthouse adjacent to City Hall Park (courtesy of City of Seattle)

King County Courthouse adjacent to City Hall Park (courtesy of City of Seattle)

The King County Council on Oct. 19 approved legislation that would seek options for King County to acquire City Hall Park from the City of Seattle and explore future plans and uses of the park, which is adjacent to the King County Courthouse, the seat of county government. The legislation, sponsored by Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Reagan Dunn, was approved by a vote of 7-2.

​​Approval of the motion comes just over two months after efforts began to relocate and provide services to people who had been living in an encampment in the park. After it was vacated, the City of Seattle closed the park for renovations. Kohl-Welles drafted the legislation in response to concerns raised about the safety and sanitary conditions in the park and surrounding area.

“Through having Executive Constantine explore future uses for the park, I am optimistic that the King County civic campus, including the park, will be more accessible, welcoming, and safe for Courthouse employees, jurors, and others seeking access to justice and county services,” said Kohl-Welles. “Further, the many challenges faced by our unhoused neighbors will be better served. I appreciate collaborating with my Council colleagues and the Executive and look forward to continuing this work together.”

While the legislation specifically asks the Executive to explore the park’s use as part of a larger civic campus and outline a plan to provide support and relocation for any future encampments that might crop up on the site, other possibilities for the future of the site may also be included in the Executive’s report.

“I’m eager to see a long-term solution implemented to prevent a re-occurrence of the violence and crime that prevented our employees from coming to work and the general public from accessing government services,” Dunn said “And am cautiously optimistic that it will happen.”

A report is requested from the Executive by January 15, 2022.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

File photo
As new COVID-19 variant looms, vaccination disparities linger in King County

County data shows gaps among age, geography and race.

Garbage at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley. FILE PHOTO
King County and Port of Seattle to collaborate on waste-to-fuel study

The study is aimed at identifying logistics of developing aviation fuel out of municipal garbage.

file photo
Department of Health announces QR code verification program to prove vaccination status

WA Verify is intended to make vaccine verification simpler and more efficient.

Patti Cole-Trindall
King County Executive appoints Patti Cole-Tindall as interim sheriff

Cole-Tindall has a background in the sheriff’s office and county government.

courtesy of PropertyShark
State’s richest zip codes are all in East King County, according to home value study

Medina zip code ranks among top 10 most affluent in the nation.

Dish from Arleana’s (photo credit: Kat Young)
Owners of Seattle’s Island Soul rally community to help open Caribbean soul restaurant on the Eastside

Owners Theo and Gaelyn Martin turn to Kickstarter to crowdfund their restaurant Arleana’s in Kirkland

Redmond’s Silver Cloud Inn, purchased by county to become permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless (photo credit: Cameron Sheppard)
King County councilmember proposes a public comment period before county establishes homeless shelters

In some cities, hotels bought to homeless shelters have been constroversial among residents.

Pixabay image
Man dubbed “the sweatpants robber” arrested by Bellevue police

Antonio Aaron is supected of nine different robberies across East King County.

Abusive power and control diagram (Screenshot taken from Zoom meeting with advocates against domestic violence)
For domestic violence survivors, petitioning for a protective order can be an uphill battle

New state law intends to remove barriers to protection, but advocates say it may not do enough.

Left: Dow Constantine, Right: Joe Nguyen (screenshot from King County website)
Constantine leads in vote count for King County Executive

Incumbent Dow Constantine is challenged by State Sen. Joe Nguyen.

file photo
Two Eastside high schools recognized for their collective academic success

Redmond HS and Newport HS both honored, Newport had three different sports teams win.