Tag Archives: walker st

Walker Street property not available for park, say owners

Proposed Walker Street Park site

The Walker Street Park prospects may not be so promising after all.

As previously reported here, the Beacon Ridge Improvement Community (BRIC) applied for a grant through the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund, to turn a block at 17th Avenue South and South Walker Street into a neighborhood “pocket park” and orchard. There is only one house on the block, owned by Joseph Fasano and his wife.

The Fasano family, however, is not interested in selling. A letter sent by Joseph Fasano’s son Mark Fasano to BRIC and to the Beacon Hill Blog on Monday states flatly: “The property is not currently for sale nor do you have any permission to begin moving forward on any project regarding this property. Our family has occupied this property for over 71 years and plan to continue residing at this property for generations to come.” The letter also says that the family has obtained legal representation, and asks that all submissions and funding requests for the project be retracted immediately.

Mark Fasano tells us that the family’s roots on Beacon Hill are very deep, and the Walker Street property has starred in a lot of memories. “I grew up in the house and on this property, so all of my childhood memories revolved around the house and playing in the woods along with my two brothers. My oldest brother lives on the other side of the cul-de-sac. My father has lived there since he was four, so all of his childhood is there as well. The home has always been the gathering place for all holidays and family functions.” The Fasanos want to keep the property in family hands.

According to Fasano, the owners were never formally contacted to discuss the sale of the property. “My father was out walking when a neighbor stopped to talk, and in that conversation among other topics he said ‘You should put a park here. What do you think about that idea?’ My father replied in jest, as he thought he was joking, ‘that would be interesting but I don’t think my wife would approve.’ He was just talking to a neighbor having small talk conversations. He never in a million years thought he was trying to get information to get something started like this.” The family did not find out about the project, says Fasano, until a friend emailed to tell them about the May 28 post in the BHB.

If the Fasanos aren’t interested in selling, the Walker Street park is not likely to happen. The park proposal acknowledges that the property is owned by Joseph Fasano, and that acquisition would depend on agreement with the owner; if the owner does not want to sell, the property is unavailable for the project.

This may change the fortunes of the Beacon Hill Central Park project, which was scored highly in the Opportunity Fund project assessment process, but was ranked lower than the Walker Street Park proposal.

(We contacted BRIC for comments on the situation but were unable to get a response in time for this story. We hope to have a follow-up with more information soon.)

Eight Beacon Hill projects pursue Opportunity Fund grants

View Parks Opportunity Fund application sites in a larger map
Click on each marker to identify the site
The North Beacon Hill Council Board is submitting a letter of support for eight groups submitting applications to build new parks or improve existing parks in Beacon Hill. The 40+ people attending last night’s NBHC meeting unanimously supported this motion. Presenters were succinct and provided an impressive amount of information about their respective projects.

The eight groups presented information about applications they are submitting to the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund for parks in Beacon Hill.  You can find out more about the Opportunity Fund in their FAQ.

The Opportunity Fund is community-driven. A key aspect of the application is how much community support a project has.  If you would like to share comments, concerns, or enthusiastic support about a proposal, contact Seattle Parks and let them know what you think. Use the comments page or contact Kellee Jones at 206-684-7052  or kellee.jones@seattle.gov, or Susanne Friedman at 206-684-0902 or susanne.friedman@seattle.gov.

Briefly, the eight proposals are:

  • Volunteers and community members seeking funding to continue efforts to improve Lewis Park, such as clearing invasive species, planting natives, and restoring the natural areas in the park’s ravines
  • Development of a Food Forest in Jefferson Park, including bicycle and walking paths, a community shade structure, and habitat renewal for beneficial insects and birds
  • Acquisition of land around the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station to develop a North Beacon Central Park
  • Walker Street Park and Orchard proposal to acquire 10 lots on the boundary of the North Beacon Hill and North Rainier Urban Villages
  • Beacon Hill Youth Soccer Association efforts to improve the youth soccer field adjacent to Beacon International School so that it can be used year-round, by replacing grass with artificial turf
  • El Centro de La Raza seeking to improve their playground and increase access to the public by upgrading play structure; adding landscaping, outdoor meeting space, green features, and cultural aspects; adding ADA accessibility; and improving the basketball court
  • Efforts to preserve and renovate the historic reservoir gatehouse building in Jefferson Park
  • Development of a viewpoint pocket park at 12th and Hill, including addition of a retaining wall, viewing platform, and seating area