Seattle Parks and Recreation has received the green light to proceed with plans to redevelop Smith Cove Park.

The director for the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections has approved a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit application and determined an environmental impact statement will not be required for the project. The decision was published on Dec. 13, and any appeals to the Seattle Hearing Examiner must be submitted by Jan. 6 (3033446-LU). If none are filed, the master use permit will be issued on this date.

The 11.8-acre site is on the north end of Elliott Bay and split by 23rd Avenue West, near the Magnolia Bridge.

The first phase will improve athletic fields on the west end of the park, add a half-acre off-leash dog area, gravel pathways and a picnic perch. The fields will include improved greenwater infrastructure to provide better filtering of runoff that ends up in the Puget Sound. A bioretention basin will be developed to the south of the off-leash dog park, which had originally been designed to be a full acre.

There is currently no funding for the east side of the park site, which will be the second phase of redevelopment. Plans are to add kayak and beach access on the northeast end, a playground, two sand volleyball courts, a beach grove, parking lot, beach stair and restrooms.

The Magnolia Wet Weather Storage Facility also sits on the site. The western fields were being used until recently to fix an underground conveyance pipe connected to the storage facility.

The SDCI director’s decision includes a shoreline variance, as part of the project proposes revegetation with native plants and grading within an environmentally critical area (ECA) steep slope buffer area. This work includes the bioretention pond development to improve stormwater runoff filtration and the removal of invasive species.

“As the proposed construction work and revegetation will take place adjacent to Elliott Bay, there exists the potential for debris and other deleterious material to enter the water during this proposed work,” the director’s decision states. “Best management practices (BMPs) will be employed to decrease the probability of debris or other deleterious material from entering the water during the proposed work, including project specific Temporary Erosion and Sediment Control (TESC) plans.”

SPR will also have to follow standards for the life of the project related to vegetation management within the shoreline district.

Phase one of the Smith Cove Park redevelopment is expected to start in spring 2020. The budget includes two $250,000 grants — one from King County and another from the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office.