Save our Green Spaces, West Seattle

Our Seattle City Light Company is selling off nine abandoned substations in West Seattle as they are no longer needed. These substations have been abandoned for 20 years and they have large beautiful trees and shrubs, many over 50 years old that are very valuable both for their beauty and rarity. City Light wants to sell these locations to the highest bidder. West Seattle is experiencing significant high-density growth. This growth must be balanced with green spaces. We ask that no action be taken to dispose of these Seattle City Light properties in West Seattle until 2015 or such time as the community secures funding. It would be premature to dispose of these valuable green spaces until funds may be secured for future community, parks or other public uses of the space.


Genesee Schmitz Neighborhood Council



  • Michael Oxman Howdy Kshama,

    Thanks for your service on the Seattle City Council.

    I would like to request a meeting to brief you on urban forestry policy.

    Here’s how the urban forestry implications of surplus property disposition by City Light are an example of how a Seattle City Councilmember can help accomplish broad environmental goals:

    1) The DPD planning department study shows only 13% of the trees remain (87% are bulldozed) following multifamily development. Developers lobby incessantly, and have undue influence, but citizens who love trees have no voice.

    2) Comprehensive Plan goals ask for a 7% increase in the amount of tree canopy cover over 25 years. Yet hundreds of trees are removed daily without tracking.

    3) 2009 Seattle City Auditor report found the 8 departments with authority to condemn trees do not communicate effectively, either with each other, or with the public.

    4) Committee structure of City Council separates these 8 departments from a unified oversight of urban forestry policy.

    5) 25 employees are separated by 8 departments from awareness of the function of their counterparts working as urban foresters.

    6) 25 city urban foresters are no match for the growth rate of an estimated 1.3 million trees. Our budget needs to ‘get real’ to match the scope of the problem.

    7) Satellite photos showing tree locations are not suitable for tree inventory purposes because information is absent about species, condition, future work needs, and adjacent site features and utilities. Monitoring is best done with a tree database.

    8) Incompatible format of canopy cover goal statements conflict with work order reports expressed in the number of tree stems planted, pruned, removed, etc. No tracking of progress towards goals can occur until the dripline width measurement is recorded by staff at the time tree work is performed.

    9) Councilmember Conlin asked the Urban Forestry Commission to omit consideration of a requirement that permits be issued for tree removal on single family property. This is telling the commission what to advise, disenfranchising the community.

    Arboreally yours,

    Michael Oxman
    ISA Certified Arborist #PN-0756A
    10236 37th Place SW
    Seattle, WA 98146
    (206) 949-8733

    From: Michael Oxman
    Sent: Friday, January 17, 2014 12:43 PM
    Subject: Urban Forestry

    Howdy Kshama,

    I would like a meeting to brief you on urban forestry policy from a citizens perspective.

    You may recall I contacted your campaign, asking what your urban forestry platform would consist of if elected. I received a polite message from a staff person, saying you hadn’t had time to digest the issue. I still want to have this discussion. Thanks.

    Arboreally yours,

    Michael Oxman
    (206) 949-8733

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