Following the City Council’s action to transfer the restrictive recreation covenant from City-owned property known as the Red Barn Ranch, located in Auburn, WA, to the North Rainier land-banked site parcel, and in acknowledgement of the public comments provided by community requesting clarity on next steps, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) staff have been working in partnership to identify a path forward towards a recommendation for the use of the site. These departments are planning to enlist an outside firm to help design and facilitate a thoughtful community engagement and visioning process.
The purpose of the visioning process will be:
- Include community stakeholders in identifying the priorities that best meet the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative’s goals
- Provide a pathway for collaborative design for the site that elevates areas of common interest
- Clarify the potential public benefits that could be provided with activation of the property
- Increase transparency in the City processes regarding surplus property
- Deliver a recommendation to the Mayor and City Council of the approach to property utilization that best meets the shared goals of process participants
SPR and OPCD staff will continue to help inform the community process once launched. Next steps include a plan to engage a small group of community representatives in June to serve as a review panel to support the development of a scope of work for an external process designer and facilitator. Review panel participants may include Board of Park Commissioners/Park District Oversight Committee, Equitable Development Initiative Advisory Board, and representatives from BIPOC communities with experience in agricultural and rural land development. In July and August, SPR expects to select the process designer/facilitator firm, followed by the launch of the community engagement and visioning process in early fall 2021 (duration and nature of this process to be identified as part of consultant scope of work and selection).