Breaking News: Zoo Parking Garage Ruled Illegal

After more than three years of public protest, the Woodland Park Zoo’s proposed mammoth parking garage has been ruled illegal by the Seattle Hearing Examiner. This is a huge victory, not just for garage opponents but for Seattleites and citizens everywhere who care about parks and the pernicious trend toward commercialization of public spaces.

“The Zoo garage was one of the biggest threats facing Seattle’s parks,” said Jeannie Hale, president of the Seattle Community Council Federation, an appellant in the case along with the Phinney Ridge Community Council and Save Our Zoo. Had the garage been permitted, “every park in Seattle would have been vulnerable to mall-sized parking structures and other buildings that were never intended to be placed in city parks,” Hale added.

More to come, but today is a day of celebration for civic activists, neighborhood advocates and average citizens everywhere who dare to fight City Hall. For more information and background, see the Save Our Zoo Web site. The Hearing Examiner ruling and a press release both are posted on the Save Our Zoo site.

Postscript: Dampening celebration over the decision is that Seattle environmental attorney Mickey Gendler, who eloquently argued the public’s case before the Hearing Examiner earlier this month, suffered a tragic bike accident on the Montlake Bridge on Sunday, injuring his spinal cord. Partially paralyzed, Gendler remains hospitalized with an uncertain prognosis. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I haven’t been following this issue very closely, but I know the garage is controversial, and I also know the area has parking problems. I would guess that parking hassles are discouraging some families from visiting the zoo. I’m not saying the garage is the answer, but what is?

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, if I want to visit the zoo, I just hop over the footbridge from the park. Usually with a train of 50 or 60 bunnies behind me. We tend to move in herds.

  3. 4

    Adam spews:

    these are the professional nay sayers – they don’t want anything new in this city

    most are white and rich

    with fancy homes and NIMBY is in their family crest

    with good design, and plantings that garage would look like it had been there forever in five years

  4. 5

    notaboomer spews:

    i am a zoo member and regular visitor with my kids and there are usually far more visitors than i like and a lot of them are morons. so i say yay for the green space. and i read that the zoo just banned smoking on its premises. hard to believe that hadn’t happened years ago, you know, since animals don’t smoke (not counting dogs who play poker).

  5. 6

    OneMan spews:

    I haven’t been to the zoo much in the last 5 years but prior to that we were regular visitors and we never had a problem finding parking in one of the lots or on a nearby street.

    I always wondered what problem they thought they were solving with this structure.

  6. 7

    rll spews:

    Thanks, Paul for not creating some obscure Mac connection to this story. And a woo hoo to the neighbors who fought and won.

  7. 8

    Liberal Dragon spews:

    This is NOT a win at all. It’s Seattle stupidity at it’s best. The fact that people here don’t realize that they live in a metro area of over 3 million people astounds me.

    The village mentality here is countr productive. The same people who are opposed to this garage are also the same stupid people who are opposed to Prop. 1 and getting light rail going.

    The disconnect here is that until people wake up and realize that to do in the car, we’re going to have to have a massive light rail system in place and that’s going to take time and money.

    I support mass transit, but we just don’t have it here and the car isn’t going away. The zoo needs visitors to support it’s work and these idiots just “did the zoo no favor”.

    This city is so f-ing stupid sometimes.