Restroom at Sammamish Landing Park coming closer to fruition
June 18, 2014
By Ari Cetron
New: June 18, 11:14 a.m.
Sammamish City Councilman Ramiro Valderrama made a strong bid June 10 for the most unusual political promise of the year.
“I pledge to use the current port-a-potty going forward,” he told members of the City Council and Parks Commission at a joint meeting.
At issue was a proposal for a new restroom at Sammamish Landing Park – the narrow park along Lake Sammamish at the city’s northern edge.
The council had discussed, and rejected, a plan for a $500,000 restroom last year.
The Parks Commission and Parks Department brought the proposal back, this time with a $340,000 price tag. Parks Director Jessi Bon explained that the city was able to find a prefabricated version of the restroom, which helped to bring down the costs.
Valderrama, who is a frequent user of Sammamish Landing Park, said he was surprised the restroom idea was brought back after the council had rejected the idea. He noted there is currently a port-a-potty on the site, which he said works fine.
Councilwoman Nancy Whitten noted that Valderrama’s willingness to use a portable toilet does not mirror that of half of the population.
“Women have a very different experience with these public bathrooms,” she said. “It is particularly repulsive to women who have a different way of doing things.”
Councilman Robert Keller agreed that the restroom would be appropriate. He also suggested the city should see if King County would be willing to pick up part of the tab, since it is often used as a pit stop for people on the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
“Sammamish Landing is really an integral part of the trail,” he said.
Bon said that in past discussions, the county had been unwilling to assist, since they have their own plans for restrooms.
Valderrama was the only member of the council opposed to the restroom (Councilman Tom Odell was absent).
The item will be placed in the parks department’s capital plan, which the council is set to vote on June 17. If the plan is approved, the restroom must still be approved as part of the city’s budget process later this year.
If it makes it into the budget, design and construction could happen in 2015.