A Tale of Two Cities

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By Bryce James, LFP Resident

This expose’ explores how the voting process of two neighboring municipalities, with nearly identical proposals (funding parks), resulted in significantly different voter outcomes. These are the cities of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. Let’s examine the differences to understand why the polarizing results.

Shoreline Prop 1

On November 1, 2021, the Shoreline City Council approved placing Shoreline Proposition 1 on the February 8, 2022, special election ballot. Approval of Proposition 1 will allow the City to issue a $38,500,000 limited-term general obligation bond to be paid back through an increase in property taxes. Proceeds will make improvements to five parks and acquire and improve three new parklands.

If approved, the owner of a median-valued home ($534,000 in 2020) could expect to pay an additional increase of $31 a year, or $3 a month over what they are currently paying with the park bond expiring in a specific term (20 years).

The five parks that would receive improvements are Brugger’s Bog, Hillwood, James Keough, Richmond Highlands, and Briarcrest Community (east Hamlin). Parkland acquisitions and improvements will expand Paramount Open Space, Brugger’s Bog, and Rotary Parks, and will include additional parkland acquisitions in the light rail station areas and other parts of the city.

Park improvements would include such things as playgrounds, splash-pads, multi-sports courts, walking trails, picnic shelters, off-leash dog areas, and a fully accessible play area for people of all physical abilities. Specifically, 1) constructing a new off-leash dog area and play area at Ridgecrest Park, 2) upgrading the off-leash dog area and converting the dirt soccer field to grass at Shoreview Park, 3) making the education center and children’s garden accessible to people of all abilities at Kruckeberg Botanic Garden; and 4) installing public art throughout the city.

The city of Shoreline had extensive planning, meetings, and with its constituents and used that feedback to formulate their Prop 1 proposal. In Shoreline, Proposition 1 is identical to the measure that won 70% approval on April 27, 2021, special election ballot; however, that measure did not have enough voter participation to meet the validation requirement.

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