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The City Of Seattle Wants To Turn Land Owned By A Negligent Landlord Into A Park

Jennifer Wing
Laurie Hemingway, who lives in Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood, wants the city to turn property owned by Hugh and Marth Sisley, into a park.


The City of Seattle wants to turn a lot owned by a negligent property owner into a city park. The narrow stretch of land is at the corner of 65th and 14th Ave. NE in the Roosevelt neighborhood. It’s owned by Hugh and Martha Sisley. The home is gone and the lot is all grass.

The Sisleys owe the city 3.3 million dollars as the result of decades of housing code violations for their various rental properties. That bill would be reduced if the deed to the vacant lot is transferred to the city.


Neighbors of nearby, boarded up buildings owned by the Sisleys, just a block away from Roosevelt High School, have complained to the city for years.


“We have squatters we have more break ins, there’s infestations and we’re near a high school. People ignore that. Hello! This beautiful high school does not deserve that,” said Laurie Hemingway, who lives nearby.


The Siselys’ lawyer, Jeff Grant, says his clients want to come to a voluntary agreement with the city but that a press conference with Mayor Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes highlighting the couple’s code violations is not helping negotiations.  


The Sisleys have until March 19th to work something out. If that doesn’t happen, the city says it will get the empty lot through a sheriff’s auction and eventually turn it into a park.

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.