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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 17, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Seattle Waterfront: Proposed aquarium expansion would hurt broader plans

In this rendering, the view looking south shows how a new walkway would connect the Pike Place Market to the Aquarium and other waterfront attractions. Landscaping would feature native plants.

We thank reporter Lynn Thompson for her thorough review  of plans for renovation of Seattle’s waterfront [“Seattle’s new waterfront: What it might look like and why,” Local News, Sept. 12]. Thanks to years of effort by many dedicated individuals on the Central Waterfront Committee and the City Council with public input, an innovative vision of the public waterfront — the Corner Framework Plan — will guide public investment in its development.

However, a separate plan affecting the waterfront has been proceeding quietly without public review. The aquarium is planning a new expansion building on its south side, directly in front of Waterfront Park. This building would obstruct 30 percent of the park’s view of Puget Sound and the Olympics. The aquarium is a beloved feature of our waterfront, but there are other expansion options for it that do not block Waterfront Park views. It should use them.

Seattle’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) rules explicitly protect the park’s view from blockage. Open park space is rare on our waterfront. We, as a city, should not allow a significant portion of these waterfront views to be obstructed.

Ellen Barton, president of the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County

Comments | More in Waterfront | Topics: aquarium, Ellen Barton, League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County

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