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Woodland Park Zoo applies to expand North parking lot

Woodland Park Zoo has applied for a permit to expand and re-stripe its North parking lot, adding 165 parking spaces. Two storage sheds will be demolished, and seven portable office buildings will be moved to another site. The project requires SEPA Environmental Determination.
The North lot, seen from the northeast corner.
The project includes moving about seven mobile trailers that house administrative offices from the Inner North parking lot. They will move to a currently unused space between the penguin exhibit and the zoo’s ARC Building near the West entrance.
Entrance to the Inner North lot. The administrative trailers are just inside to the right.
David Schaefer, the zoo’s director of public affairs, tells me the zoo currently has 754 parking spaces in five lots: South lot – 265; Tower lot (just off Phinney Avenue near the water tower) – 145; West lot – 57; Inner North – 92; North lot – 195. The project would add another 165 spots, for a total of 919.
The City of Seattle has said it will pay 75 percent of the construction costs, up to $2 million. The zoo is paying for the other 25 percent. Schaefer said they don’t have the final costs yet, because the final design is not yet finished. He says the city asked the zoo to apply for SEPA environmental determination first, then the city will appropriate the money.
The zoo plans to have an open house at the end of the month for neighbors to look at the parking lot designs. The zoo will notify neighbors by mail when the date and time are set.
“There are 30 or 40 days in the summer where there’s just no place to park around here or on the streets,” Schaefer said. “And we think this will be a significant help toward that.”
Comments on the project can be submitted through March 6. You can comment online, by fax to 206-233-7901, or by mail to: Department of Planning and Development, ATTN: Public Resource Center or Assigned Planner, 700 Fifth Ave, Ste 2000, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019. Include the project number (3014618 ), project address (5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle 98103), and your mailing address with your comment.
(The DPD permit application says the comment period goes to Feb. 20, but Schaefer said they asked for two additional weeks to give people more time to comment. Land use signs on the perimeter of the zoo show the comment period ending March 6.)