King County, Seattle reach land swap agreement at City Hall Park

County King and Seattle City officials announced a new land swap agreement Friday that includes moving City Hall Park in the Pioneer Square neighborhood to county control.

Under the new agreement, the district will receive 0.56 acres of City Hall Park to complete its downtown campus. The City of Seattle will acquire 13 county-owned properties, totaling 1.35 acres of land. The plots of land acquired by the city include lots near the South Park Bridge and Cesar Chavez Park in the South Park neighborhood. Greg’s Garden P-Patch in Ballard has also been moved to town.

The agreement comes after several months of security concerns from workers at the King County Courthouse, which neighbors the park. After a fatal stabbing incident in the park in June, King County Councilor Reagan Dunn suggested action The park would be condemned as a safety hazard. Dunn cited a survey by the King County District Attorney’s Office that found that 160 of 220 courtroom employees have expressed concerns about their safety.

Later in July, a man was arrested after him Allegedly sexually assaulted a woman who worked for the Ministry of Public Defense In the bathroom of the court. The park’s homeless camp was cleared by the city in August, and the park has remained temporarily closed ever since.

After the attack, King County Council voted in October to seek options for acquiring the park from the city and to “explore future plans and uses for the park,” according to the county. The legislation was then referred to King County Executive Dow Constantine, who announced the land swap deal on Friday.

“Ensuring the continued use of public land for the public good is an important task not only in the open spaces, but within our urban centers as well,” Constantine said in a special statement. new version Friday. “City Hall Park will allow King County to map out a vision for an entire downtown civic campus, including exploring the reopening of the historic courthouse entrance and engaging adjacent neighborhoods, while retaining the land for public use.”

boycott too Launched a new ‘Walking Bus’ beta program Last week to escort employees from downtown campus to nearby transportation centers at night to improve safety.

Court safety has been a chronic issue for the city for the past several years. In 2019, two courthouse entrances on Third Avenue were ordered temporarily closed after an attack on a public defender. Later in the year, Qing County Council Approved $600,000 in emergency funding to increase security measures In the courtroom, including the appointment of more inspectors and two deputies to provide security on the street.

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