Legal safe public access to recreational areas for dog-owning citizens is an important issue for numerous voters. Sixty-one percent of Seattle households own dogs. Magnuson Park is at a turning point. Currently, off-leash area users have a nine-acre area in the north end of the park which includes a .8 mile walk and 180' of lake shore access for swimming for dogs and their owners.
Park designers propose dramatic changes, including shifting the OLA to the south end of the park and limiting water access to an artificial pond instead of lake front access. Further, they propose altering the configuration of the long walk so that it does not go to the beach.
The Magnuson Park Off-Leash Advocates users groups favors allowing the Off-Leash area to remain in its current general location with its .8 mile walk, lake front access the inclusion of a ballfield-sized meadow for retrieval activities.
We feel that leaving the area where it is the most efficient use of taxpayer money; moves always entail more expense.
If the area is moved to the south end, however, we still need a contiguous nine acre area with a .8 mile walk that leads to the lake shore, just south of the boat launch and a ballfield-sized meadow.
Heidi Wills' answers:
Do you favor dedicating at least 9 acres (3% of the re-designed Magnuson Park) for use as an OLA? YES
Are you in favor of the Magnuson Park OLA having access to Lake Washington for dogs and their owners to swim? I favor water access at the lakeshore, though I am open to hearing arguments on both sides.
The Magnuson OLA is the only OLA in the city that provides a relatively level .8 mile exercise walk for people as well as their dogs. This feature makes the park accessible to users in wheel chairs and person with heart conditions and other disabilities. Do you support retention of this feature at Magnuson Park? YES
Do you support wheel chair/handicapped accessibility throughout the OLA, from the parking area to the lake shore for disabled users? I support handicapped access.
Currently the OLA at Magnuson is located primarily on the north perimeter of the park along the NOAA security fence. Do you favor leaving the OLA in its current location which includes lake shore access? I don't have a strong position on retaining this area at the north end of the park. I see some merits with the Mayor's Plan.
If the location of the OLA is moved to the south end of the park, the park planners have recommended installing an artificial pond instead of retaining the lake shore access. As mentioned above I favor water access at the lakeshore, though I am open to hearing arguments on both sides.
I favor water access at the lakeshore.
I favor creating an artificial pond within the OLA instead of lakeshore access.
Do you support the inclusion of a ballfield-sized meadow at Magnuson OLA for people to legally play frisbee or other running activities with their dogs? YES
Do you believe there should be funding of the Magnuson OLA that is proportional to the number of users so the area can have regular maintenance and improvements to improve the beach access/fencing to prevent wear and tear? With competing budget priorities, I need to fully understand the tradeoffs before fully making a commitment.