Lake Forest Park, Washington

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Lake Forest Park is a city in King County, Washington, United States, just north of Seattle. A bedroom community by design, most of the city consists of single-family housing on medium to large-sized lots, with an emphasis on retaining the natural features of the landscape. Less than 4% of the city land is zoned commercial; most of that is in one location, and there are no industrial areas.

Lake Forest Park has lakefront and lakeview residential property, assorted parks and nature preserves, convenient access to the Burke-Gilman Trail, a summertime farmer's market, and a large new and used bookstore / food court holding frequent musical events. The population was 13,142 at the 2000 census.



Lake Forest Park was founded in 1912 by Ole Hanson and A.H. Reid as one of the Seattle area's first planned communities. Envisioned as a picturesque retreat for professionals, the developers planned roads and lots in strict consideration for natural landmarks.[5] The original prospectus for lot sales declared:

...the strict fiat has gone forth that all the natural beauty must be preserved; that no tree must unwittingly be cut down; that the natural wild flowers must remain; that the streams, the springs, the lake front, the nodding willows, the stately cedar, the majestic fir, the quivering cypress and the homelike maple and all the flora and fauna with which Nature has blessed this lakeshore, must not be defiled by the hand of man.[6]

Until 1914 and completion of the Red Brick Road (now Bothell Way, part of State Route 522) to nearby Kenmore and Bothell, it also marked the literal end of improved roads heading north from Seattle, with best access to points further north and east being by boat across Lake Washington or the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway.

Lake Forest Park officially incorporated on June 20, 1961, in large part to help maintain its specific identity in the face of increasing local development pressing north from Seattle.[7] The town remained small - under 5,000 in population - until the 1990s, when a series of annexations expanded city borders significantly and more than doubled the official population.

The city has no public lake access. The 3/4 acre Lyon Creek Park was created in the late 1990s on land purchased by the city in 1998, but forbids access to the water. For the prior fifty years, the lot had belonged to Marcia and Robert Morris, who had built a modernist home and a horse stable on the property. Both buildings were torn down as part of the park conversion, which also included replanting the park with 5,000 native shrubs and plants. The replanting portion of the project involved the labor of hundreds of citizen volunteers.[8]

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