Community to discuss plan to separate nudists from neighbors at Denny Blaine Park

A proposal that would separate a controversial Seattle park into two zones has neighbors and nudists both giving input over what should be allowed at the park.

Denny Blaine Park, located in the Central District, is a popular spot for picnicking, sunbathing, and swimming. However, on some days, it's an unofficial nude beach.

"There’s been a long history of people coming to this beautiful place and getting naked and swimming," said Colleen Kimsey Love, co-lead and organizer with Friends of Denny Blaine. "The first person arrested for nude swimming in Lake Washington was Ellsworth Storey in the late 1910’s, early 1920’s, and he's one of the founding architects that shaped the Pacific Northwest architectural style."

The nude beach was thrust into the spotlight in 2023 after an anonymous donor tried to get Seattle Parks & Recreation to build a children’s play area at the park, in a discriminatory effort to get rid of the nudists. However, those plans were rejected in December 2023.


Seattle scraps plan to build playground near popular nude beach

Seattle Parks & Recreations scrapped a plan to build a children’s play area at Denny Blaine Park, near an unofficial but popular nude beach.

Since then, the Friends of Denny Blaine have been working with Seattle Parks and Rec to address issues like garbage overflow, noise, and of course, where people can be naked.

Now, Seattle Parks and Rec is proposing a plan that would separate Denny Blaine Park into two different zones: Zone A, which allows nudity by the waterfront, and Zone B, which would outlaw nudity near the park's entrance and parking lot.

"While we are interested in forming a better relationship with the neighbors, we’re not interested in creating policy that’s going to set up more conflict, more issues with the neighbors," Kimsey Love said "What the neighbors seem to be forgetting is, it is not illegal to be naked anywhere in Seattle or Washington as long as it’s not being done with intent to offend, I think the phrase is reasonable obscenity."

A public comment meeting is happening at 6 p.m. on Thursday to discuss the proposal, and community members can ask questions about the new guidelines.

Another Seattle Parks and Rec public hearing in front of the Board of Commissioners is also scheduled for next Thursday.


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