Closure of Angle Lake Park

The SeaTac City Council at the Regular Council Meeting cast unanimous votes in favor of the Angle Lake Park Enhancement Agenda Bill items: 3480 Phase II Improvements and 3481 purchase of Spray Park Equipment.

Approval of these initiatives thus authorizes work on the park to begin almost immediately (late February) so that the enhancements will be complete before the start of the International Festival Weekend at the end of  June.  To perform the necessary work and ensure job site safety, the plan included closing the entire park from public access until the enhancements and renovations were complete by the 30th of June.

Immediately following the RCM meeting, concerned resident and ALSC Treasurer, Judy Williams, resorted to wide distribution of an email letter to all council members, select city staff and Angle Lake area organization Presidents, highlighting key issues pertaining to the closure of the Park Boat Ramp for the proposed extended period.

Ms. Williams' opening statement justified sending the email communication due to the absence of any opportunity for the community to ask clarifying questions or offer additional information for consideration on these matters after staff presentation were made.  She then calls out a number of points that are considered to be very problematic, the first of which appears to be no mention of any proposed contact with the residents of the shoreline at the lake to make them aware of the plans to close the entire park which includes access to the boat ramp.  Since this will be happening in the very near term, any notice given now would be considered short and will involve most residents making hasty mitigation plans. 

Closure of the boat ramp for the period of February to June 30th is considered to have impact on the following areas: 
  • Residents who would normally have their boats out of the water for the winter would need to be sure to have them launched prior to park closure
  • Disrupt the stocking of the lake by the WA State Dept of Fish and Wildlife, creating additional concern for the ecosystem, particularly reducing a food source for the bald eagles, osprey and other migratory birds.
  • Decrease the number of community members able to participate in the decades old ALSC Annual Fishing Derby, thus requiring probable revision in  event plans
  • Prevent licensed guests any opportunity to fish at Angle Lake; Hughes property is designated as off limits to the public with no trespassing signs frequently displayed.
  • Increased vigilance and rescue action by lakeside residents regarding safety on the lake since emergency personnel would not have easy access to surface waters during the park closure period.
Boat Ramp Access Will Remain Open
In response to the concerns conveyed in the letter sent by Ms. Williams, Parks Director Kit Ledbetter replied with the following construction announcement attached with a message indicating that staff was able to successfully work alternative plans with the Contractor which will enable the boat launch to remain open during the park construction. The agreement is that a temporary fence will be installed to create a single open lane all the way down to the boat launch from the park entrance on International Blvd.

Additionally, Mr. Ledbetter indicated that he had just finished talking to the State Fish and Wildlife staff person who is responsible for stocking fish who stated that WDFW will continue with the same fish stocking of Angle Lake as they have in the past. 

So for now, it appears that Ms. Williams voiced concerns over the closure of the ramp access have been heard and the response measures seem to resolved most of the issues – although it is not yet clear where visiting boaters will be able to park their vehicles and trailers while out on the lake, nor how traffic flow will be mitigated when more than one vehicle traveling in opposite directions occurs – but surely solutions will surface for those conditions and any other voiced community concerns that may arise. 

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