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Ballard Commons Park Re-opens After Chaos, Closure, and Sweep

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We knew it would eventually happen! @CMDanStrauss says Ballard Commons Park is re-opening weekend of March 11-12. But it is still unclear what the game plan is to prevent homeless people from setting up again on this #Seattle Parks property. @MayorofSeattle

Not so Memorable Moments

If you recall, the park’s been closed since December 2021 after the city allowed a massive homeless encampment to take over for months. It was blamed for deaths, fires, shootings, uptick in thefts, and even Hep-A outbreak. #Seattle

Fall Through Winter 2021

Numerous fires raged out of control in Ballard Commons Park. Some were accidental, others were intentionally set. Too many to count. #Seattle

Fire City

During Fall 2021, it seemed like I was going to Ballard Commons Park multiple times each week for a fire or death. #Seattle

Smokey Scene

Plumes of smoke rising from Ballard Commons Park was a regular occurrence. @CMDanStrauss#Seattle

Ballard Commons Challenges June through December 2021

-Seattle Fire Dept. responded to 42 incidents.

-Seattle Police sent units to general area more than 100 times.

-Responses included tent fires, assaults, and other public safety incidents.

*Stats provided by Councilmember Dan Strauss

Massive Drain

#Seattle Fire responded to Ballard Commons Park so many times for tents on fire and propane tank explosions.

Fire Balls

One neighbor would send me videos showing the Ballard Commons Park insanity and concerned that one day, the flames would reach the balcony and burn down the apartment. #Seattle

December 2021 Sweep

Crews finally moved in to clear Ballard Commons Park. It was relatively quiet and uneventful. #Seattle

Reminder on the Ground

This is what it looked like the day before the sweep in December 2021. #Seattle

RVs Gone

It wasn’t just tents and structures set up in Ballard Commons Park, it was also the RV’s parked around the perimeter. #Seattle


It worked up until this point. But when the fencing goes down next month, how soon until the tents start popping up again? And how quickly will this be enforced? #Seattle @CMDanStrauss

When all Was Said and Done

Day after sweep at Ballard Commons Park, some neighbors were still taking shots at city leaders for allowing this situation to flourish. Here’s how Dan Strauss(@CMDanStrauss) responded. #Seattle


Pastor Britt Olson leads St. Luke’s Episcopal Church across from Ballard Commons. They’re also part of the Ballard Alliance, a coalition primarily made up of businesses that funded a city outreach worker focused on the park, helping homeless.

Jonathan Choe

Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Jonathan Choe is a journalist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth and Poverty, covering homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining Discovery, Choe spent several years as one of the lead reporters at KOMO-TV, consistently the top rated television station in Seattle. His in depth stories on crime and deep dive investigations into the homeless crisis led to measurable results in the community, including changes in public policy. Choe has more than two decades of experience in television news behind the scenes and in front of the camera for ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and Tribune. He has also been nominated and honored with multiple industry awards including an Emmy. Choe spent several years teaching classes on emerging media and entrepreneurship to under privileged youth in inner city Chicago. As an independent journalist, Choe also contributes regularly to the Mill Creek View and Lynnwood Times and has reported on exclusive stories in the past year for Daily Wire and The Postmillennial.