Money became available for various capital improvement projects at Discovery Park as a result of the 1991 West Point Settlement Agreement between King County and several community organizations.
In May 2002, the King County executive convened a West Point Citizens Advisory Committee (WPCAC) and appointed King County Council Member Larry Phillips as Committee Chair. The Executive also appointed nominees from 6 community organizations to serve on the WPCAC.
The WPCAC prepared a report, with recommendations for improvements to Discovery Park under the terms of the West Point Settlement Agreement. They selected projects that satisfy the primary function and central purpose for Discovery Park as stated in The Master Plan. (This Recommended Project List is included as an attachment to the MOA below.)
Under the Settlement Agreement, King County transmitted $5.3 million to the City of Seattle. This money plus all interest is held in a sub-fund specifically for Discovery Park.
The expenditure of that $5.3 million plus interest, is now reviewed quarterly by a Citizens Oversight Committee made up of 1 representative from each of 7 specific organizations (see MOA below) including Friends of Discovery Park. We most recently met in January 2013, and will be meeting again in March 2013.
Updates on the specific projects funded by the WP Settlement monies, can be found on the following Park Department web pages:
After many months of discussion, design review, plan revisions, acceptance of construction documents, and finally a winning bid, the Capehart Restoration Project was underway. Work finished by early 2012. The final product is NOT as called out in the design specs (in some sections trees are planted way too close together), and way more trees were purchased than were needed (these were planted elsewhere in the Park.) See additional information on our CAPEHART page.
Friends has expressed concerns that these two projects (especially the replacement of the broken water line) are not truly capital improvements but more Maintenance and Repairs - which are not approved uses of this Fund. But Parks has decided that they can go ahead, and that is what they are doing.
The plan originally was to remove the entire east-west roadway along the northern edge of the North Parking Lot. This was to improve the buffer between the paved areas and the drop-off into the ravine to the north, and to improve water management through the area. But this has now been changed to removal of only half the roadway - the other half is being kept so that one weekend a year it can be used for PowWow! They will also re-pave the entire lot, increase and improve the handicap parking stalls, and build a swale along the western edge between the parking lot and the field. January 2013: The Project is still waiting for a Permit from the Army corps of Engineers, but construction is expected in the Summer of 2013 after PowWow.
The water line break is next to the Montana Circle housing. The old line will be capped at Idaho St, and a new line will be trenched up Kansas Ave north from Discovery Park Blvd (Utah Ave.) January 2013: The Project has been designed, but is still under review by Seattle Public Utilities. Construction is expected Spring 2013.
Parks Department contacts:
Legal Documents that govern the West Point Settlement Fund: