OPEN SPACE CONSERVANCY TRUST
In 1992, the Mercer Island City Council created the Open Space Conservancy Trust to protect low impact parks from development.
In 1969, Islanders had voted against a golf course in Pioneer Park, but development interests continued to agitate for a golf course, so finally the City Council put the park safely in the Trust.
Similarly, for over 40 years development interests have agitated to fill Mercerdale Park with buildings. In 1973, the School District tried to sell Mercerdale for commercial development, but a vote was required and Islanders voted NO. In 1985, City Council candidates advocating a Civic Center Plan for Mercerdale were rejected by Island voters. In 1987, Islanders voted down a plan to put City Hall in Mercerdale Park. In 1997, a petition drive killed a City plan to build the fire station in the park.
As with Pioneer Park, it is clear development interests will continue to agitate to fill Mercerdale with buildings unless the park is placed off-limits. MICA is simply the latest scheme. It's time to once and for all protect Mercerdale Park from future attacks by placing it in the Trust.
What is needed now:
A vote of the City Council is required to place a City property in the Trust. In practice, if at least four of seven City Councilmembers favor putting Mercerdale Park into the Trust, that action would appear as an agenda item at a regular meeting of the City Council. After public input, staff recommendation, and Council discussion, the full City Council would vote.
For further information related to the Mercer Island Open Space Conservancy Trust click here.
Next Meeting: January 18, 2018