Seattle voters reject Sand Point (later Magnuson Park) aviation on November 5, 1974.

  • By Patrick McRoberts
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2239
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On November 5, 1974, Seattle voters side with neighborhood activists and local elected officials in rejecting continued use of Sand Point (later Magnuson Park) as an airport for light aircraft. The vote was 57 percent opposing aviation.

"It's a nicer day today," said Seattle City Councilwoman Jeanette Williams (1914-2008), who along with Mayor Wes Uhlman (b. 1935) and Senator Warren G. Magnuson (1905-1989), opposed the measure, as did the Friends of Sand Point Park.

Pete Bement, one of the pro-aviation organizers complained, "The voters were misled by the Times and the P-I [Post-Intelligencer], by ads (of Friends of Sand Point Park), and we were up against a bunch of baldface lies."

The fight over the airfield was a long-standing one. Earlier in 1974, on September 17, King County voters had narrowly supported aviation in a non-binding advisory vote. But the vote had little effect since the county had no jurisdiction over the property, which had been transferred to the city by the federal government after the Navy declared it surplus. Aviation supporters eventually lost out and the park was dedicated to more bucolic park-like activities.


Svein Gilje, "Aviation Use Turned Down," The Seattle Times, November 6, 1974, p. A-19.

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