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.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Restroom at Sammamish Landing Park coming closer to fruition”

  1. Deb Strickland on June 18th, 2014 7:37 pm

    I’m so pleased to hear the council came to their senses. It’s crazy to spend $500K (or even $340K) on a bathroom for the tiniest of all parks. For way less than half that they can get a very nice (woman friendly) port-a-potty and pay a company to maintain it. I was shocked to hear suggestions of a tunnel or bridge. Clearly there is money to waste. There are quite spacious port-a-potties that will fit strollers with ventilation, etc. To say half the population won’t use one hasn’t been to a concert, or doesn’t know there are upscale options.

  2. Calan on June 24th, 2014 11:07 am

    Deb– it sounds like you think they rejected the idea of putting in a bathroom–the article actually states that the restroom was approved.

    I think it is necessary– anyone who has used that porta potty knows that it is not maintained and is disgusting.

    The last time I used the porta potty there, the tank was so full that the “waste” was flush with the toilet seat, and so women had clearly resorted to creating piles of toilet paper in the corners of the porta potty and relieving themselves on the toilet paper piles. In all four corners there were urine soaked toilet paper piles.

    Not to mention the door is often tampered with/broken, and there is no hand sanitizer.

    It isn’t a tiny park, either– it is over 8 acres, and on sunny days draws crowds in the hundreds–which is more traffic than many parks twice the size that do have restroom facilities. Furthermore, it isn’t just park users that utilize the current porta potty– its trail users and boaters. I was there just this last Sunday and saw several boats pull up to the dock with the sole purpose of using the porta potty.

    The current maintenance schedule is not keeping up with the use at all, and sometimes there are lines.

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