On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the King County Council approved legislation to turn over City Hall Park to the County in exchange for several County-owned properties within Seattle.
It passed by a vote of 7-2 with Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Reagan Dunn, Rod Dembowski, Dave Upthegrove, Claudia Balducci, Kathy Lambert and Pete von Reichbauer voting for and Councilmembers Girmay Zahilay and Joe McDermott voting against the measure.
Under the agreement, King County would take control of the roughly half-acre park adjoining the King County Courthouse and the city would get 13 parcels of land in exchange, most of them bordering existing city parks and totaling 1.35 acres in all.
The swap comes after several instances of violent crime in the park, which sits in front of King County Superior Court in downtown Seattle. County council members pushed for the move as a means of implementing greater safety measures in the park for the sake of the neighborhood.
The deal still needs approval from the Seattle City Council before it is finalized.