Fort Lawton is former United States Army post located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, Washington overlooking Puget Sound. While Fort Lawton was a quiet outpost prior to World War II, it became the second largest port of embarkation of soldiers and materiel to the Pacific Theater during the war. In 1973 a large majority of the property, 534 acres of Fort Lawton, was given to the city of Seattle and dedicated as Discovery Park.
The fort was included in the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list. Fort Lawton officially closed on September 14, 2011. This 34-acre area, now vacant, is proposed for a City-developed low-income and senior housing project.
from City of Seattle, Department of Housing, Fort Lawton project page:
"Fort Lawton was established as an Army installation in the late 1890's on Magnolia Bluff in Seattle. Originally, the fort was a military reservation of over 700 acres. In the late 1960's, much of the property became surplus to the needs of the United States Army, and was transferred by the federal government to the City of Seattle at no cost under the "Legacy of Parks" program to create Discovery Park in 1972. Several other parcels were subsequently added to the park over the next few decades. In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) decided to close the 70th Regional Support Command headquarters located at Fort Lawton. The Army named the City of Seattle the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA), responsible for preparing and implementing a redevelopment plan. The City conducted an extensive public process that resulted in a detailed plan to create a diverse, mixed-income community with housing for homeless individuals and families and market rate housing, while also preserving existing wildlife habitat and creating a new neighborhood park. The plan was put on hold, when the City was directed to undergo State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) review, followed by significant changes in market conditions.
"What Is the vision for Fort Lawton today?
The City's vision for Fort Lawton is an affordable, livable community that creates opportunities for those with low incomes to live in the Magnolia neighborhood, and takes advantage of the opportunity to increase recreational and open space for Seattle. This vision builds off past planning efforts, while recognizing the City's present needs and priorities. To accomplish this, the City is working on a redevelopment plan that includes:
- Supportive housing with on-site services for homeless seniors, including veterans;
- Affordable rental housing for low-wage households, including families with children;
- Affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families;
- Preservation of existing natural areas that support wildlife habitat;
- Development of new park spaces that support a variety of uses including active recreation; and
- Re-use of one of the structures and associated parking as a maintenance facility for Seattle Parks and Recreation."
Groover, Heidi. "Could Wealthy Neighbors Kill Seattle's Plan to Build Affordable Housing in Magnolia (Again)?" The Stranger, DEC 14, 2017.
from Seattle 4 Everyone:
"Fenced-off, vacant, surplus public land in Magnolia near Discovery Park could become 200 affordable homes, but only w/ support from Seattle neighbors. Join us at the public hearing on January 9th to support this common sense proposal!"
Public Hearing, 9 Jan 2018:
Watch Live: Public Hearing Over Affordable Housing at Fort Lawton
thanks to The Stranger • Jan 9, 2018 at 6:18 pm:
Kshama Sawant, Seattle Councilmember, is in attendance, and posted on Twitter a picture of her Fort Lawton (see below).
Welcoming Wallingford @WelcomingWally 9 Jan 2018:
"@ethanpg made a great point that Yesler Terrace will have 5,000 homes on the same amount of land. Fort Lawton could hold hundreds more homes than the current plan! #FortLawton."
Policy flier from Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Support Letter Mailer from SeaTech4Housing
"If you weren’t able to come out tonight to demand bolder action on affordable housing, you can send a written comment with just a few clicks:
Open document area for Live-notes, ideas, etc.
this section is editable in box below, or by editing Google Doc directly.
- Barnett, Erica C. "Morning Crank: Resolutely Pro-Housing." 10 Jan 2018.
Section 3 describes the Jan 9 public meeting.
- City of Seattle, Department of Housing. Fort Lawton project page. https://www.seattle.gov/housing/ft-lawton
- Graf, Heather. “Should Seattle’s Fort Lawton Be Used to House Homeless? Neighbors Face Off.” King5 News, January 10, 2018
"Most of the comments were in support of the redevelopment proposal, particularly homeless advocates. But some are concerned about an increased risk to public safety."
- Groover, Heidi. "Could Wealthy Neighbors Kill Seattle's Plan to Build Affordable Housing in Magnolia (Again)?" The Stranger, DEC 14, 2017.
- Groover, Heidi. "We Went to Magnolia Expecting NIMBYs and Found a Bunch of Housing Supporters Instead." The Stranger. Jan 10, 2018.
- The Stranger. "Watch Live: Public Hearing Over Affordable Housing at Fort Lawton." (video feed). The Stranger, Jan 9, 2018.