King County voters defeat a $215 million parks and open-space bond issue on September 17, 1996.

  • By Alyssa Burrows
  • Posted 1/02/2003
  • Essay 4111

On September 17, 1996, King County voters defeat a $215 million bond proposal intended to fund habitat restoration, purchase lands for parks and open spaces, and create ballfields.

The Metropolitan King County Council proposed the "Fields and Streams" measure, which would have used a third of the funds to restore salmon and wildlife habitats and the rest to purchase land for open spaces and parks, to improve existing parks, and to create new ballfields.

Seattle had at this time 185 ballfields on which 2,500 different softball, baseball, and other teams competed both against each other and for a field on which to play. The bond proposed the creation of 70 new soccer and baseball fields, six new basketball courts, and three new tennis courts.

The measure received a 54.4 percent majority vote, but its passage required a 60 percent majority. An accompanying levy, a $30.5 million maintenance fund to pay for the upkeep of new parks projects through the next decade, also failed.


Larry Lange, "Voters Reject Parks, Open-space Issues," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 18, 1996, p.A-6; David Schaefer, "King County Parks: Lack of Voters Defeats Measure," The Seattle Times, September 18, 1996, p. C-5.

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