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Parking lot may be replaced with pond to help with flood control

Turning land into parking lots is not uncommon, but turning a parking lot into a potential city resource is rare.

That’s what city officials may do with an old eyesore of a parking lot across from the city shuffle board court on Ninth Street West and 15th Avenue West in Ballard Park. As the city launches an effort to improve its parking lots, that particular lot may be destined for removal in favor of a retention pond.

Public Works Director Jim McLellan supports turning the lot into a retention pond.

“From a stormwater standpoint, everything rushes to Ware’s Creek at the same time,” McLellan said. “If we can even delay that water for a little bit, it will mitigate that rush of water.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent $53.7 million on a Ware’s Creek flood mitigation project, but the project, completed in April 2016, was never designed to stop the creek from flooding after a heavy storm drops several inches of rain in a short amount of time. Two months later the creek was tested with minor rainfalls from Tropical Storm Colin and the Corps boasted its success.