Seattle, WA

Seattle Parks Introduces a New Proposal Process

Tree Langdon

It's a great way to encourage engagement.
flowers in City parksPhoto by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash

The city of Seattle wants to engage community groups and interested parties in a discussion about the creation of new parks and redevelopment of existing park areas.

Off-Leash Areas for dogs have been identified as a particular concern for a variety of reasons.

There are a lot of dog owners in the city who are interested in new areas where they can bring their pets to explore and play in the outdoors. 

They want to be able to exercise with their dogs, so ideally there are walking and running trails within the off-leash area.

Small or timid dog owners are interested in having a specific area set aside for their use. Sometimes the larger off-leash parks can be intimidating for smaller timid dogs. Large dogs engage in healthy play which includes roughhousing. 

Non-dog owners want to preserve parks where dogs are required to stay on leash. Many members of the public aren’t comfortable with dogs running free. They can pose a danger to small children or pose a problem for animals that are on a leash. 

Community support is a key component of the success of any proposed changes.

If you want to create more off-leash areas in Seattle, there is a specific process to follow.

There are three ways to submit proposals.

  • You can submit your suggestion for an off-leash area during the planning process for a new park or the redevelopment of an existing park. Suggestions for other park uses are also welcomed. Parks that are currently under development or redevelopment can be found at this Current Projects page
  • Land-banked sites are areas that are undeveloped neighborhood park sites owned by the city. There are 14 sites throughout Seattle. This additional funding expands the possibilities for developing these sites into neighborhood parks. They are currently in the planning process to develop these sites and it’s a great time to submit your ideas.
  • There is a new Off-Leash Area Community Proposal Process. The process allows the City to partner with community groups and others to support the expansion of Off-Leash areas that are identified as appropriate and supported. This process is under development and there’s a document to help direct interested people. You can download it here. New Off-Leash Area Preliminary Proposal document

Other resources for Off-Leash Area parks.

  • The City is developing a workshop to assist organizations with the steps in proposing new Off-Leash areas.
  • The City created a dedicated page on their website to provide information about improvements that are ongoing in the existing off-leash areas. You can find it at Improve Dog Off-Leash Areas project .
  • There is also a page Please also visit ourdedicated to the existing parks, providing information to dog owners and a map of Seattle off-leash areas.

The New Proposal Process

There are a number of proposals that have been submitted and responded to and a list of their status can be found here. Status of proposals already submitted

If you or your community group wants to propose a new Off-Leash area, here are the steps to take.

  • Submit a preliminary application for review. This first step allows you to get an idea if your proposal meets the criteria. If it does, your group will be invited to the next step.
  • Submit a formal proposal which includes a variety of documents, including specific details of the possible off-leash area. The City wants evidence of community support and a commitment for ongoing stewardship by the community.
  • There will be a review which will include a period where public comments are requested, the Review Committee will go over the application, the Parks Board of the City of Seattle will consider it and then the Superintendent will give final approval.
  • The Review Committee will be made up of community members and experts in a variety of fields.
 “For more information, or to get started on a preliminary application, download the New OLA Community Proposal Process Preliminary Application Packet here.” Seattle gov website.

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