Proposed gate at Discovery Park not sitting well with some neighbors

SEATTLE -- Residents near Discovery Park will get their chance Wednesday to sound off about a gate that would boost security at the nearby wastewater treatment plant, but neighbors worry would restrict some access to the park.

The beach and trails at Discovery Park really draw in visitors, but there's been vandalism and fires down in the park. A late night party last July ended with teenagers shot and police searching for suspects. On top of all that, there are trucks coming and going day and night from the wastewater treatment plant adjacent to the park.

"It really is a public safety problem and we really need to get on top of it," said Pam Elardo with the King County Wastewater Treatment Division.

Separate roadways and parking areas are clearly marked, but Elardo says people still go the wrong way and even park in treatment center spaces. Elardo says the parks department came to them and asked if there was any way to put up a gate to help control the bad stuff and still have their trucks coming and going?

"They don't have the manpower to be down there 24-7, and it really is a round the clock problem," Elardo said. "(People) leave their car there and kids are running out to the beach where trucks are coming in and out. It's really a public safety problem and we really need to get on top of it."

The parks department says it will grant access to people with disabled or other parking permits. Those drivers will be issued a key code to open the gate.

If you want to sound off on the proposal, the city is holding a public meeting from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Discovery Park Visitors Center.