The Woodinville Parks and Recreation Commission voted March 9 to recommend about $533,000 in improvements at DeYoung Park.
On a 4-1 vote, the commission sent its recommendation to the City Council, which is set to decide April 4 on proposed renovations at the 175th Street downtown park.
Commission Chair Sandra White endorsed the plan “because of the excitement this could bring to the central core of Woodinville,” including making the downtown area more accommodating to walkers.
The plan chosen by commissioners was the most expensive of three proposals outlined at the meeting by Clayton Beaudoin, a principal at SiteWorkshop in Seattle, the landscape architecture firm hired by the city to work on the DeYoung project.
Construction and soft costs
Although the price of the project is preliminary, Beaudoin and city officials estimate the cost would include the $533,000 for construction, as well as design and other soft costs that could bring the total to about $800,000. The other two proposals presented to the commission by Beaudoin were priced at $333,000 in construction costs (and a total of about $500,000, with soft costs added), and $133,000 in construction costs (and a $200,000 total, including soft costs).
Commissioner Julie Elsom said she supported making meaningful improvements to the park, which opened in 1998 and occupies about two-thirds of an acre donated to the city as part of the development of the TRF Pacific shopping center.
“Let’s do the transformation of the park, and let’s do it right,” Elsom said.
Commissioner Paul Cowles dissented, both because of budgeting-process concerns, and large price of the project compared to the small size of the park.
“The budgeting process for the project is backward,” Cowles said, because it involves choosing a set of improvements before allocating a specific amount to spend on the project.
Although $750,000 is allocated in the city’s budget for parks improvements, Cowles said “it is foolhardy to spend that entire amount of money on this project.”
But Cowles and City Manager Brandon Buchanan disagreed on the terms of the parks-improvement budget, with Buchanan indicating the $750,000 is intended specific ally for the DeYoung project, and Cowles contending that some city council members think the amount is potentially intended for other parks improvements, in addition to DeYoung.
Transforming the park
Beaudoin called the budget proposal chosen by the commissioners as a plan to “transform” DeYoung, as opposed to the two other budget proposals, which he said would “upgrade” or “renovate” the park.
Among the changes at the park under the plan endorsed by the commission:
A “destination feature” in the form of a treehouse, canopy walk and/or a water feature
Enhancement of the existing tree canopy at the park, as well as soil renovation, art and/or lights in trees
Garden renovation, including an irrigation system
Infrastructure changes that would make it possible to hold more events at the park, and capitalize on the popularity of the farmers market held at DeYoung, including water and sewer improvements and ramps that would give farmers market participants easier access
Improved, artful lighting including programmable, color-changing LED
Creation of a more comfortable environment, including reworked edges and entries, specialty furnishings and walls with built-in seating
Replacement of overhead canopies, with more durable, bright and artful material capable of providing weather protection
In addition to choosing a park improvement plan, commissioners voted at the meeting to reappoint White as chair of the panel, appointed Elson vice chair.