Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor | Concerns about a possible Soundview playground

Posted on January 4th, 2024 By: George and Marcia Pollitt

Dear Parks Commission:

My wife and I reside at 2808 Harborview Drive, Apt. B, near Ferry Landing Park. We have been very involved in the process of the acquisition of Soundview Forest Park and efforts to retain the beauty of this rural sanctuary since acquisition in 2018.

The goal was to retain the natural beauty of the park and not to disturb the Blue Herons who not only roosted but nested as well.  Because of the limited City Funds, the community actively participated in clean-up days to remove invasive ivy and holly plants as well as spread wood chips on the meandering paths.  Limbs and stumps were left in place to retain the natural setting of the park.  Note we have only had one Parks Appreciation Day since 2021 and the growth of the ivy now presents a health hazard to the indigenous plants and trees.

The proposed Playground raises concerns regarding safety and liability, impact on the wildlife (herons, black birds, squirrels, etc.), cost of maintenance and parking. I will list our concerns regarding each:

Safety and Liability:

  1. Danger from falling limbs and tree debris.  Note in windy conditions the park is posted closed.
  2. If the park is not ADA compliant, is it safe for children?
  3. Walking on Harborview Drive from Soundview to Ferry Landing Park is now problematic due to the high volume of traffic looking for a place to park and then turnarounds when not found. We have noticed a marked decline in mothers unloading their small children on Harborview because of the traffic and often no parking spaces available.
  4. Due to the nature of the playground in a rural setting, mothers will not always have a clear line of sight of their children.
  5. Will children be expected to not trip on the roots, stumps, and debris on the paths?
  6. As an aside, the patrons of the 7-Seas are now parking on Judson Street and have made a shortcut to the pedestrian crossing. I have witnessed a middle aged woman nearly doing a face plant while climbing over a log placed by the City to keep people from cutting through the brush and down a rather steep four foot slope.

Impact on the Wildlife:

  1. Maintaining the natural beauty of the park will encourage wildlife and hopefully the return of the nesting Blue Herons.
  2. Assume that the Playground will require ADA compliance and this will require changes that will negatively impact any wildlife.

Cost of maintenance:

  1. Understand that the maintenance of the playground equipment will be the responsibility of the City.
  2. Removal of the debris that naturally falls from the trees will be required.
  3. The City will have to be extra careful with weather events to ensure that the park is closed.  From our observations, the posted signs are regularly ignored.


There are only 6 under 18 youngsters that currently live in the neighborhood.  Four are teenagers and two are under 10.  There is little likelihood for young families to move here.

Families will require parking to visit the proposed playground.  In fact, during a nice day and evening every parking place from Soundview to Ferry Landing Park is filled and people are parking illegally where no parking signs are posted. Neighbors who live on Harborview find that their visitors have no place to park.

Currently, due to the inadequate parking, patrons for the 7-Seas are utilizing the Judson Street parking lot.  When Milgard/Rush develop this property will the parking lot be retained for the general public?

Appreciate your time to consider these concerns.


George & Marcia Pollitt

Gig Harbor

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