The Fate of Roosevelt Reservoir

The Roosevelt reservoir is undergoing an approximately 2-year test to determine whether it will be needed by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) for future use as a reservoir. The test began in March 2013, so the latest a decision would be made about whether to decommission the reservoir would be at the end of March 2015.

If SPU decides to de-commission the reservoir, an assessment would be made about whether it may be needed for any other “utility” purpose. If not, the assessment could be declared surplus. This decision would be internal to SPU and could happen within a few months upon conclusion of the reservoir testing.

If the reservoir is declared surplus, the asset would be subject to the “review and decision” process for all surplus City of Seattle assets, as depicted in the attached chart.

There are typically three points of public comment in a typical, “simple” surplusing process: first, at the time the asset is declared surplus; second, after the City analyzes alternative uses and recommends the criteria for evaluation the disposition of the asset; and third, prior to completion/closing of the sale or lease of the asset.

A note on Fair Market Value (FMV): State Law requires that the utility must receive FMV for the asset. So even if the property ends up under the ownership of a public agency, such as another City of Seattle Department, other local government, or even a non-profit, SPU would need to receive fair market compensation for the property. Given funding challenges at all levels of local government, funding strategies for non-income generating uses that might be contemplated for the site would likely need to be put in place prior to the notice of disposition to be deemed competitive in a FMV context. However, given the size and location of the reservoir, it seems highly likely that a mixture of uses – both civic and private – may be possible. Thus, the scale of required funding would be proportionate to the amount of the asset needed to accommodate the desired public uses.

RBCA has written a letter to the Parks Department asking that they consider making the Roosevelt Reservoir into a park.

Betty lavigne

Seems strange that the public owns the land yet has to buy it again, simply because different agencies are involved.

There is a great need for open and public space in a neighborhood that has been earmarked for high density development.
If urban forest goals are to be met and quality of the environment protected, it seems important to preserve the entire parcel for public use and a green area. The city needs to recommit to a vision of protecting its citizens and not just developer interests. When I see the popularity of Mapleleaf park and how well used it is, it just reconfirms the need for Roosevelt to offer the same. A lot is at stake, balancing growth with open spaces. Once gone, that land can not be reclaimed for the public. I would prefer it kept fenced as surplus for future use if the city can’t afford to convert it to a park at present. Do not sell this land!

Mark Johnson

Would you please provide the plat number for the Roosevelt Reservoir? I am seeking some information related to a proposed project that I would like to share with the nonprofit I represent.
Thank you.
Mark Johnson

Adrienne Clem

Converting this reservoir to a park would enhance the community and ease anticipated congestion from the new Roosevelt SoundTransit station. The neighborhoods surrounding this site are beautiful, old Seattle neighborhoods. It would go far to preserve and enhance the charm of the area by opening this as a common green space. Please retain the land and convert it to a park as an investment for the community.

Mary Perkins

I have a sneaking suspicion that, since the area is so close to the light rail, that the developers will get it. They seem to get what they want. The city is in desperate need of more parks- poor Green Lake is packed daily and could use some relief.