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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Scenic Hot Springs Update

From the property owner:

Scenic is still not open to the general public. The only people allowed to use the springs are those who have a permission card or have been given permission for a visit in advance. Permission cards are only issued to those who have two or more involvements in past clean-up parties. Any visitors who do not have permission or a permission card are trespassing. If you are caught hiking up to the springs by Scenic’s representatives, you may be asked to leave . . . even if you are almost all the way up to the hot springs. Please do not argue with us. We do not allow late night soaking or camping because the Scenic property is in King County fire-restricted zone. Late night soaking is not allowed as we cannot control the irresponsible activities that traditionally take place after the sun goes down. Occasionally the Scenic’s reps will make the hike up to the springs late at night and ask those there to leave. Please do so without argument.

Those who want to request permission to visit the hot springs should contact bangedupshins@gmail.com If you would like to take part in future clean-up parties, please also contact us at the above email address.

The reason for the above restrictions (including the permission card requirement) is because we are in the middle of sensitive negotiations with the county, state and federal representatives over permits to reopen the hot springs to the public. The permit process is taking a lot of expense and time for everyone involved. The unexpected presence of people heading up to the hot springs while sheriff and King County code enforcement officers watch, may jeopardize our permits application.

I am hoping that the negotiations with the King County DDES and Public Health will be over soon and the Scenic Hot Springs will be open to the public sometime in spring of 2009. The first obstacle is to clear up the county code violations and restore the hot spring pools for public use while making them much more safe and enjoyable. Currently there is only one 8 x16 feet concrete pool at the Scenic Hot Springs. The King County DDES requires that any construction done by volunteers over the past 20 years, whether it was a small piece of concrete or small wooden poles, be removed from the hot spring site. Therefore when the time comes, the existing concrete pool at the Scenic Hot Springs will also have to be destroyed.

The Scenic Hot Springs is still in the process of negotiating with the County, so I cannot reveal any further details. If you have been to Cougar Hot Springs, then you can see the general direction the Scenic is heading for; a natural hot spring that is kept under control without making it a truly commercial facility. In the future, Scenic will have 3 natural rock-lined pools. When opening to the public, Scenic will be a day-use facility open from sunrise to sundown, and may have a minimum user fee. I would also like to mention that this improvement project has no official connection with the Friends of Scenic or the Scenic Preservation Association. However, some of their members have been involved as volunteers in the clean up efforts of Scenic Hot Springs.

Currently, visitors should at least follow guidelines listed below:

    • Have Permission First
    • No Night-time Soaking
    • No Guns, No Camping, No Fires
    • Be Responsible with Alcohol - No Glass
    • No Dogs at the Springs Site
    • Be prepared to leave when asked to do so

Mike Sato

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Mike for all of your efforts! Those of us who truly have a deep respect for the springs and wish to see them return to their glory look forward to the day when all of your hard work comes to fruition!

    I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that there are many of us out here who read this blog to keep up on the permitting work going on with the county. I don't think many here realize how difficult this has been and will continue to be in the months ahead.

    Good luck to you in all of your efforts!

    Respectfully yours,

    Ryan

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