Athletic Field Proposal at Saint Edward State Park


Kenmore City Council Provide Direction on the St. Edward Ballfield Renovation Project

More than 100 community members attended the February 3, 2020 City Council meeting to decide next steps for the SEPA environmental process of the St. Edward Ballfield Renovation Project. Forty public comments, which included a range of opinions and support for all three options, were considered along with the EIS findings. Before Council took action, councilmembers thanked all participants for feedback and provided reasoning when measuring the outcomes for each option. Councilmember Curtis made a motion in favor of the third option, stopping funding on the EIS. Councilmember Pfeil seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-3.  The City of Kenmore is committed to exploring options and partnerships for active recreation activities, a goal identified in the City’s Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan.

Kenmore City Council to Discuss St. Edward Ballfield Renovations Feb. 3

The Kenmore City Council will discuss and consider next steps for the SEPA environmental process for the St. Edward Ballfield Renovation Project at a Special Meeting on Feb. 3, 2020 at 7 p.m. at Kenmore City Hall.  State Parks acting as the SEPA lead agency recently completed the Phase 1 EIS Scoping process. The purpose of scoping was to narrow the focus of the EIS analysis to significant environmental issues, to identify reasonable alternatives, and invite public participation.  The City reimbursed State Parks for the consultant costs associated with the EIS process.

Before proceeding with Phase 2 of the EIS (the draft and final EIS process) and incurring additional costs, the City Council will consider potential options including: 1) continuing with the EIS process; 2) reducing the number of alternatives (e.g. turf or lighting) considered in the EIS; or 3) stopping any further expenditures on the project.

The meeting agenda is available here the Friday before the meeting.  Public comment can be made at the Feb 3 meeting during the public comment period, or, for anyone unable to attend the meeting in person, written comments may be submitted in advance of the meeting to Kelly Chelin, City Clerk


State Parks to host public scoping meeting on August 13, 2019 at Kenmore City Hall 6:00pm. Please see WA State Parks and Recreation Commission's news release and plan to attend their public meeting on August 13, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm at Kenmore City Hall. You can also provide comments online until August 30th at their website here.

St. Edward State Park is approximately 326 acres in size and the 3.5-acre existing ballfield is approximately 1% of the park area. The existing ballfield has been used for active recreation and informal play for more than 80 years and historical aerial photographs show two ballfields. The current condition of the ballfields is poor and local Kenmore youth sports organizations no longer schedule use of the fields.  The fields are currently used for informal recreation, cricket practice, and games. Renovation of the existing ballfields benefits the public by enhancing recreation opportunities within St. Edward State Park for active sports such as youth baseball, youth soccer, and cricket. Providing open public use of the ballfields (e.g. Frisbee or pick-up games) is also important and will be a condition of the lease agreement between the City of Kenmore and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. 

St. Edward Ballfield Renovation Project

The City of Kenmore proposes improvements to the existing grass ballfield area in St. Edward State Park.  The existing ballfield (approximately 3.5 acres) is proposed to be renovated to a new public sports field.  The City proposes a field designed to accommodate two little league fields, two youth soccer fields, one full-size soccer field, or one full-size cricket field.  Construction timing is dependent on the City obtaining: a long-term lease with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission; required permits; and funding.




Goals and policies of the City’s Parks Recreation and Open Space (PROS) include: developing existing parks to provide a balance between passive and active recreation; identifying undeveloped properties for consideration of acquisition for active and passive recreation; and seeking partnerships with schools and other public or non-profit agencies to enhance opportunities for recreation on existing public property.  The following paragraphs describe City actions related to implementation of the goals supporting active recreation, including athletic fields, in Kenmore.

The City owns nine parks but the majority have limited opportunities for developing new athletic fields as they are constrained by wetlands, streams, and other areas that are preserved for open space and passive recreation and/or they are not ideally located or of sufficient size. In 2018 the City completed renovation of the existing youth athletic field at Moorlands Park, the only city owned field, for youth baseball, soccer and softball.  The City over the last 10 years has developed facilities in existing parks to provide other opportunities for active recreation, including: a skate park at the City Hall Park; a half-court basketball court and playground at Rhododendron Park;  playground at Northshore Summit Park; new docks/floats at Rhododendron, Log Boom and Squires Landing Parks providing access to the water for handcarry watercraft. 

In 2009 the City conducted preliminary research to identify potential acquisition sites for active recreation, three to five acres in size, ideally flat and close to existing schools or parks.  Of the six sites identified, the City acquired the 25 acre Twin Springs site on 80th Ave NE and although the site is large it is constrained by steep slopes and wetlands and is not suitable for athletic fields.  Two of the five remaining site have been developed with residential development. The City will continue to assess opportunities for active recreation including potential site acquisition but there are limited opportunities in Kenmore.  Land acquisition and development costs for athletic fields in particular are significant and there are competing needs for the City’s limited resources.

The City’s preferred approach is to seek partnerships to enhance opportunities for access to existing athletic fields and opportunities for active recreation programming. The City has an agreement with Bastyr University for priority use of their two youth athletic fields through 2025. The City also has a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding with Washington State Parks to prepare a long-term lease whereby the City would improve the two existing ballfields at St Edward State Park.  The City is working through the environmental and permit process and continuing negotiations on terms of a lease with State Parks.  However, even assuming permits and the lease are approved, renovation of the fields at St. Edward would not occur until 2024 at the soonest.  The renovation of the existing ballfields at St. Edward would add new capacity as the fields are currently largely unused.  The improved fields would accommodate two little league fields, two youth soccer fields, one full size soccer field or one full size cricket field, available for public use for organized youth and adult recreation teams as well as for informal recreational unscheduled play.   

In 2018 the City completed a preliminary analysis of athletic field use for the eight fields on Northshore School District property in Kenmore. School fields are only available for scheduling outside of school hours and the data indicated that the majority of unused field availability is in the winter months November through February.  There is limited land available on school district property to add new athletic fields to increase capacity.  There may be future opportunities for the City to partner with the school district on upgrading existing fields but depending on the type of upgrades, this may not add to increased capacity and field availability. 

The City does not have its own recreation programs but the City has partnered with other organizations who provide programs including those for active recreation.  For example, the City has partnered with the Kenmore Waterfront Activities Center who offer youth and adult rowing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, dragon boating and outrigger canoeing from Squires Landing Park.  A City partnership with the Northshore School District who offer a high school rowing program currently operating from Log Boom Park.  The City has encouraged other organizations such as the YMCA, Skate Like a Girl, Skyhawks Sports Academy to offer active recreation programming at City parks during the summer months.


Current Status of City Process - Updated 6/28/19

A Critical Area Variance permit application (to vary from wetland buffer requirements) and SEPA application were submitted to the City of Kenmore's Development Services department on 7/28/17; in April 2018 Development Services approved the extension of the permit application review period to 12/31/18 to allow time for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process with State Parks; on 12/5/18 the review period was extended to 12/31/19.  Questions about application status should be directed to Development Services at 


Dates and Milestones


Date Time Milestones
7/28/17   Application filed
8/11/17   Letter of Completeness

Notice of Application published & 21-day comment period begins

9/8/17 5:00 PM Notice of Application comment deadline
9/11/17   SEPA Notice published & 21-day comment period begins
9/25/17 5:00 PM SEPA Notice comment deadline
10/16/17   Correction Letter sent to Applicant
2/9/18   Applicant submitted Correction Response
4/3/18   City of Kenmore Planning and Community Development Department requested an extension of the permit application window until December 31, 2018 to continue permit and SEPA review. The City of Kenmore Development Services Department approved the extension.
5/21-22/18   Kenmore City Council directs staff to proceed with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to identify and analyze environmental impacts, reasonable alternatives and possible mitigation. The original SEPA and Critical Areas Variances Permit Applications will remain under review pending the outcome of the EIS. City staff is discussing the EIS process and timeline with State Parks.
12/5/18   Kenmore Development Services Department approved an extension of the permit application window to December 31, 2019 to continue permit and SEPA review.






















Project Documents:

Resubmittal Documents:


Status of the Lease Agreement Between the City of Kenmore and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission


On 1/22/16 a Memorandum of Understanding (Contract 16-C1507) was executed between the City and State Parks to prepare a long-term lease whereby the City improves the ballfields and manages and maintains them.  The October 20, 2008, St. Edward State Park Management includes language regarding continuing ballfield use and states that "ballfields as recreation facilities are primarily a local government responsibility; the majority of the financial burden must be borne by local governments and local partners".  The management plan, therefore, supports the lease approach and funding by local governments.


The City Attorney and State Park Attorney General are in the process of drafting terms for a 20-year lease between the City of Kenmore and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.  The lease will address rent, permitted use, permitted improvements, maintenance, and operations.  On 3/31/16 City staff gave a presentation to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission on the proposed ballfield improvements.  An update was given to the Real Estate Committee on 8/31/16.  The Committee also received updates at their 1/26/17 and 5/17/17 meetings.


The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission meeting agenda information is available at:


On February 27, 2019 an updated Real Property Agreement was submitted to State Parks.


Questions about the lease agreement direct to Rob Karlinsey, City Manager at or phone (425) 398-8900.


SEPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Council direction to staff at the May 2018 Council retreat was to pursue a SEPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to support the City's review of a critical area wetland buffer variance permit application and a long-term lease application with State Parks for the City to be able to upgrade and maintain the ballfiels at St. Edward State Park. To implement Council direction for the EIS, two agreements are required with State Parks.


On 6/10/19 Council granted auhorization to the City Manager to sign an Interagency Agreement with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Contract 19-2061). The Interagency Agreement outlines the terms of the City's reimbursement to State Parks for consultant costs (up to $64,105) for Phase 1. State Parks selected the Watershed Company in December 2018 as the consultant to support the EIS process. Phase 1 of the EIS process is estimated to be completed between June and December 2019 and includes scope development, public meeting, refinement of alternatives, and scoping report. State Parks will issue a Determination of Significance (DS) after execution of both agreements (June 2019) as the first step in the EIS process. Costs and timing to complete Phase 2, including issuance of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Final EIS will also be determined as part of the Phase 1 scope. To proceed with Phase 2 will require an extension of the Interagency Agreement and agreement on consultant scope/fee. On 9/9/19, Council authorized an increase in contract 19-2001 of $7,300.


SEPA Lead Agency Agreement Contract 19-2061 (see link) is an administrative agreement and does not require Council authorization for the City Manager's signature. This agreement establishes State Parks as the SEPA Lead Agency.


Bryan Hampson, Development Services Director, is the City's SEPA Official and City contact person for all communications regarding the SEPA Lead Agency Agreement and Interagency Agreement; he can be reached at or by phone at (425) 398-8900.


Click here to view the June 10, 2019 Council agenda bill and attachments.

Click here to view the September 9, 2019 Council agenda bill.


Project Cost Estimate: On 7/23/18 Council reviewed project cost estimates. Click here to view the July 23, 2018 Council agenda bill and attachments.


Public Meeting Open House, February 23, 2016, Questions and Comments:


The City of Kenmore hosted a public meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at City Hall, 18120 68th Avenue NE, to share information about a City proposal to improve the existing athletic fields at Saint Edward State Park. A formal presentation was given at around 7:20 p.m., with opportunities for questions and comments both before and after the presentation. See below for the comments and presentation from the open house:


Athletic Field Proposal Presentation

Written Questions and City Responses:


What environmental reviews will be done before approval/denial of the proposal regarding environmental impacts of lighting, runoff, noise, increased traffic on natural environment of St. Edward Park and park users?

Response:  A State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review will be completed before a lease is executed between the City and the State Park Commission and before permits are issued authorizing construction.  SEPA provides a way to understand how a proposal may affect the environment (including lighting, surface water runoff, noise, and traffic), identify possible environmental impacts and ways to reduce likely impacts or provide conditions that mitigate likely impacts


What are the resource implications of the proposed development for St. Edward State Park? Extra staffing needs? Extra hours? Extra maintenance? Extra enforcements? Who will pay for this and how?

Response:  The City is working with State Park staff on conditions for a long-term lease that would outline the responsibilities for maintaining, operating, scheduling and enforcement.  Whether additional City or State Park resources will be needed is to be determined.


Will existing parking be expanded? Will existing parking spaces go away?

Response:  There are approximately 200 existing parking stalls available for park users who hold a Discover Pass.  The City is not proposing to eliminate any existing parking stalls. The City and State Parks have not determined whether additional parking is required for the athletic field renovation. The City is exploring paving and restriping the existing parking area (approximately 20 parking stalls) immediately west of the athletic field and potentially adding four to seven more spaces


How will the City follow up with making sure the field materials are non-toxic and do not harm children?

Response: The proposed field materials are non-toxic and include synthetic turf with sand infill.   Rubber infill is not proposed.


Will there be electronic scoreboards and a PA system?

Response: An electronic scoreboard and PA system are not proposed.


Will restrooms be updated?

Response:  There is an existing public restroom just west of the athletic field.  A new restroom is not proposed.  The City and State Parks may partner on upgrading the existing restroom, if needed, to meet current ADA standards.


Will there be a concession stand?

Response:  A concession stand is not proposed.


After the large, old significant trees are removed for ballfields, how long until private enterprise can then develop?

Response:  The City is updating the tree survey to show tree locations. Once the tree survey plan is complete then the City can determine if any trees need to be removed.  The athletic field renovation is not a private development, it is a public project, a partnership between the City and State Parks.


What demand has been demonstrated that cannot be met in existing fields?

Response:  Youth and adult organized athletic groups (baseball, soccer, cricket, lacrosse) who currently use or have used the fields indicate their membership is growing and there is demand for field use in general and in particular for local fields within the Kenmore community.  General community support for active recreation including athletic fields has also been documented in several surveys.


Are you exercising exemptions, rezoning, or variances to destroy the natural and/or wetland areas to build this?

Response:  St. Edward State Park is zoned “Parks”.  The athletic field is an existing use at the park and athletic fields are an allowed park use, so rezoning is not required.  The City will be required to comply with the City of Kenmore adopted critical area regulations, and City and other agency permit requirements. The City is updating the 2008 critical area report to include critical area delineations (such as wetlands and streams), assess critical area functions, potential impacts to critical areas from athletic field renovations and a conceptual mitigation plan.  The critical area report will address compliance with variance or exemption criteria if either is needed.


What means did you use to “populate” this meeting with children wearing sports garb despite the cold temperatures?

Response:   The meeting was open to all members of the community, and everyone was encouraged to attend and provide comment.


Your audience proves my attendance is futile. Tell me how greatly the footprint is expanding.

Response:  All questions and comments at the meeting were encouraged.  The footprint of the ballfield renovations is expected to be within the existing mowed area of the athletic field.  Confirmation of the exact footprint can be determined once the updated survey drawing is complete.


What is the lease fee that would be paid to State Parks?

Response:  The lease conditions have not been determined, including whether a lease fee is required.


What is the service life for this surface?

Response:  Depending on the level of use, the artificial turf layer may need to be replaced every 10 years.


How long until we can play ball?

Response:  There are many factors that could affect the timing for construction of the athletic fields including:  Approval of the lease agreement between the City and State Parks; availability of funding, estimated at $2 to $3 million; and the permit process.


Answers to Comment Sheet Questions


What do you like?

  • Better hydrology than grass – no fertilizers allows for water runoff. No rainouts! Kenmore needs fields. Turf is safest for kids

  • Not in favor

  • LED lighting with up lighting to see balls in the air at night, sand infill on the field, covered seating and dugouts, bullpens

  • The proposal looks great

  • LED lighting, turf fields, covered bleachers

  • Turf field – but no rubber, better fields for kids, lights provide even more field time, drainage system, LED lights, year-round use

  • I appreciate the thorough analysis of the ballfields and their impacts. I strongly support the renovation of the fields and moving forward as quickly as possible. Every season the demand grows and our field resources are not keeping up

What do you NOT like?

  • The blatant effort to develop a state park for an unnecessary reason

  • Field (at least one) isn’t (?) sc__ in size to accommodate select baseballs kids at an older age level playing on 70-90’ basepaths

  • People who clearly don’t understand how much pressure the league is under to acquire field space that is playable at this time of year

  • Driving to Woodinville/Maltby every Saturday :)

  • The potential impacts to wetlands but I believe the restoration and mitigation will enhance their function

Anything you would like to see?

  • Nurture the natural areas that are too rapidly disappearing

  • Concession stand

  • Parking plan, environmental impact – enhance the surrounding wetlands

  • Artificial turf and LED lighting

Other Comments

  • Our kids need playfields in our town, our youth sports are a vital piece of our community

  • The development proposed at Saint Edward State Park is simply too much. A hotel, spa, restaurant, and ball fields with hundreds of cars coming to and from the park will forever degrade the state park. Careful research and consideration of the long-term impact on the parkland must be conducted/ given. How might we preserve, use and minimize impact?


Comments Spoken during the Open House:


  • Need to balance recreation, conservation and preservation.  Support the renovation project, it won’t impact the enjoyment of the park, for example, noise impacts minimal as move away from the fields.  Possibility to partner with the Environmental Learning Center to combine recreation and education.


  • City moving too fast and rushing to change PAUE regulations.  City needs to do due diligence on environmental issues and drainage at St Edward.  Support a grass infield and putting the ballfield on property the city currently owns, working with the school district or building ballfields over the lake.


  • President of the Northlake Little League.  456 kids signed up for the 2016 season, growing registration over the last four years but fewer fields to play on.  Support turf fields and lighting and providing fields in Kenmore.


  • Coach for youth soccer and a member of Families for Active Parks in Kenmore.  Supports the renovation and a balance of active and passive recreation.  Value of recreation but also teams build integrity and honesty.  Bastyr fields are heavily used every day except Sunday, March to July.  Growing need for fields.


  • Supports the renovation and benefit of reduced traffic as shorter trips to a local field means also fewer trips impacting the system.


  • Coach of a girls team.  Supports the renovation at St Edward and also additional fields at Lakepointe.


  •  Former assistant soccer coach.  Concerned about environmental review as St. Edwards is unique, may also trigger NEPA.  City should look for other ways to build a ballfield rather than at the state park.


  • Coach. Supports the renovation.  Now time to take action as the ballfield project has been talked about for a long time.


  • Member of Families for Active Parks in Kenmore. The ballfield is about kids and leaving a legacy. St Eds is an amazing asset for everyone.  The renovation is taking languishing fields, existing space, and making it better.  Of course, the city will look at traffic and environmental concerns.


  • Played softball at Bastyr and soccer at St Edward.  Support the renovation proposal.


  • Former coach. Power of sport to create memories and lasting friendships.  Concern about environmental impacts but has faith in the City.  There is misinformation that wetlands will be destroyed after the project is finished.  The project will have stormwater management and it will be a better wetland.


  • Scheduler for the Little League.  There are 45 teams and only 8 fields.  Support the renovation.




Last updated: Fri, 03/13/2020 - 3:27pm