Action will be considered at a meeting Jan. 9; previously announced Jan. 5 meeting provides opportunity for public comment on proposed lease
OLYMPIA – Dec. 30, 2016 —The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have two special meetings in January to consider public comment and decide whether to approve a 62-year lease agreement with Daniels Real Estate of Seattle for the Seminary and related buildings at Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore.
The first meeting, as previously announced, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, Bastyr University Chapel, 14500 Juanita Drive N.E., Kenmore. (Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/S6MZiHRVkbR2). The meeting will begin with a Commission executive session, after which the public portion of the meeting will commence. A revised special meeting agenda, including the proposed lease and exchange agreement, is available online at http://parks.state.wa.us/154/Commission-Meetings-Agendas. Public comments submitted by 5 p.m. Jan. 4, will be made available to the Commission prior to this special meeting. Comments may be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com.
The purpose of the Jan. 5 meeting is to review details of the lease proposal and information from the environmental review process under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and to hear public comment on these materials.
A second special Commission meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 9, when the Commission will make final decisions on the lease agreement. This second meeting was set to ensure Commissioners have adequate time to consider public comment and details of the environmental review process and to comply with SEPA requirements.
The Jan. 9 special meeting will be convened by Commission Chair Steve Milner, over telephone conference call, from the Moran Conference Room at State Parks Headquarters, 1111 Israel Road S.W., Tumwater. The public is invited to attend and listen to proceedings, either at State Parks Headquarters or in the Kenmore City Council Chambers, 18120 68th Ave. N.E., Kenmore. The Commission will not be taking additional public comment that day.
State Parks acquired Saint Edward State Park in 1977. Since that time, the agency has explored a number of ideas for preservation, rehabilitation and re-use of the park’s iconic Seminary Building and grounds. In September 2014, the Commission considered management options ranging from building demolition to rehabilitation—and adopted rehabilitation as its preferred option.
The Commission determined it would need to enter a partnership with a private or public entity to secure the capital investment needed to successfully rehabilitate the building. Any project would be required to align with the State Parks mission. The proposal by Daniels Real Estate of Seattle includes rehabilitating the Seminary for use as a lodge.
As part of the lease arrangement, Daniels agreed to purchase a 9.7-acre private property that lies adjacent to the park and to transfer it to State Parks as partial payment of rent for use of the Seminary, immediate grounds and associated structures. The property adds to the park’s natural area along Lake Washington and allows the agency to appropriately manage trails that are already in use by the public. In the proposed agreement, Daniels shoulders the cost of rehabilitation.
It is anticipated that the lease agreement will generate additional annual revenue for State Parks through new Discover Pass sales and approximately $260,000 per year through access fees paid by overnight lodge guests.
A separate proposal by the City of Kenmore to improve ballfields at the park is unrelated to the building lease under consideration and has no bearing on the proposed Seminary project.
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
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Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.P.O. Box 42650Olympia, WA 98504-2650Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388