Friends of Marymoor Park

September 28, 2016 Meeting Summary

-- see also the July 27, 2016  meeting summary

1) Introductions:

Norah Robinson, King County Parks – Marymoor Park lead; Greg Helland, FOMP President and SODA rep; Herb Bone, FOMP board, MAR/C rep; Michael Hobbs, FOMP Secretary, Eastside Audubon; Glenn Eades, Eastside Audubon and neighbor; Ollie Oliver, birdwatcher and neighbor; TJ Davis, King County Parks Community Partnership Grants; Travis Roach & Chick Hodge, TOPs Tennis

2) TOPs Tennis Facility – Indoor tennis facility.

This was a follow-up discussion of a possible project to build a large, indoor, tennis facility in in the northwest corner of Marymoor. See for an introduction to the project.

TJ: Parks is supportive of the concept of a facility – it fills a large regional need, where there are few alternatives all of which are private and expensive. It fits in with the CPG process, specifically providing a needed facility with reduced capital and maintenance costs to King County Parks. The proposed footprint is within the Active Recreation Zone of Marymoor Park. The TOPs organization seems to be a highly qualified partner.

Travis explained the TOPs mission statement, and noted that they are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. They have a long history of providing subsidized or free tennis instruction to disadvantaged youth. Operations of the facility would probably be scheduled from 6am-10pm, with 7 hours of youth programming daily, year round. This facility, like their current one, would use paid tennis use to fund the subsidized/free programs. So the facility would be available to the general public on a paid basis for parts of each day.

Since the last visit to FOMP by TJ and the TOPs team, they have completed wetlands delineations, and determined that there is space in the Northwest corner of Marymoor Park which would not compromise wetlands badly. They are proposing to build the facility north of the softball fields north of the main park entrance. So the building would be pretty much as close to the river as wetland setbacks would allow, and as close to SR-520 as setbacks would allow there. Parking and traffic studies are going on, cultural resource analysis has been done without finding artifacts, potable water infrastructure will probably be augmented as part of the project. Bottom line – so far, the project appears technically feasible on the site, and falls within Parks conceptual desires.

The building would be built and owned by TOPs, with a ~30 year lease/usage rights agreement with the county. The county will provide CIP grant money to support construction.

Still-to-come: Financial + Programming agreement: The county does NOT charge market rates for leasing the land; they essentially give discounted rates on a pro rata basis for Public Benefit. The extent of public benefit would be part of the negotiations.

Michael strongly supports the partnership between TOPs and King County Parks, but does not support building a large building for *indoor* recreation in a park that should be dedicated to *outdoor* recreation. This sentiment seemed to be shared by many other of the attendees. It was also noted that this is the last “unused” space in the Active Recreation Zone within the park. KCP feels that this proposal is very high quality, beating out many, many other projects on several points, and is therefore a good choice to fill that space. If this project goes, through, any future project within Marymoor would probably need to be a redevelopment of an existing site. As a hypothetical example, if the velodrome were in need of expensive renovation, and if money and organizational support were not sufficient, then that site might be available for redevelopment for another use.


Norah has a new proposal: instead of a larger pad entirely of poured concrete, she’s proposing to use a new, better, plastic surface on the existing gravel pad, with new wings using “grass pavers”. These pavers provide thin-framed cells where grass would grow. They are more permeable than concrete or even gravel, but have much greater durability than plain grass.

4) CIP/Project/Facilities Updates:

a) Marymoor West boathouse project – Boathouse complete.  SRA held a grand opening ceremony on the 25th..

b) Dudley Carter Sculptures – Grant request was declined, but Parks will go ahead with the work as a CIP project.  Total cost for restoration and repairs is around $23000 to treat 5 sculptures.

5) Other

  • Some old maples around the mansion needed to be taken down.  They have been left as very short snags.  Dead poplars along the entrance road are also going to have to be removed.
  • Andy Boland, who took over maintenance responsibilities from Karl Kostel, has received a promotion and has left Marymoor for a Parks job closer to his home.  Polo Cantu will step in on an interim basis as Parks District Maintenance Coordinator.

Next Meeting: October 26, 2016, 7:00 p.m. at the Art Barn

These notes do not constitute an official record of the meeting.  They may have inaccuracies and omissions.  If anyone has any complaints about the content of these notes, they should direct them to Michael Hobbs at, and he will endeavor to correct them.


Home | Mission | Members | Events | News | Maps | Getting There | Contact Us | Links | Search
Meeting Summaries |
Wildlife at Marymoor | Birding at Marymoor Park

Problems, comments, suggestions?  Email the FOMP webmaster at