OPEN SPACE CONSERVANCY TRUST

Update (as of 1/25/18):

The Open Space Conservancy Trust Board voted at its Jan. 18 meeting to add an agenda item to its 2018 work plan to discuss the addition of parks and open spaces to the trust.

This action was prompted by the Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks’ request.

See the MI Reporter article with the details here.

Background:

In 1992, the Mercer Island City Council created the Open Space Conservancy Trust (OSCT) to protect low impact parks from development.  (Read the Seattle Times coverage from 1991 here.)

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.

Find further information related to the Mercer Island Open Space Conservancy Trust here.

Open Space Conservancy Trust Board Meeting
Thursday May 17, 2018
Open Space Conservancy Trust Board regular meetings are held on the third Thursday of alternating months (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, & Nov) at 6:00 pm at the City Hall Council Chambers (9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA) unless otherwise posted.