New gates are currently being installed at the entrance to the main Snoqualmie Community Park parking lot on Ridge Street. The gate will close the lot to cars during overnight hours.
For some residents living along Curtis Ave – which borders the large park and its popular Kite Hill area – the new gate is a welcome addition. They hope it will help curb illicit activities occurring at the park, especially at night.
Michelle Pfeffer, whose home backs to the Kite Hill and Bog area, said issues involving pre-teens and teens have been ongoing during the nearly two decades she’s lived next to the park. Since the skatepark opened and Covid hit, though, she said things have gotten worse.
Pfeffer said in late July she and her neighbors reported  gun shots fired at the park. She said it happened around 10:30PM and resulted in her family fearfully crawling along the floor of their home until the shots stopped.
Police were called and a helicopter also circled the park with a spotlight. Pfeffer said family members witnessed people running from the park and exiting on the path next to her home, leaving in a white sedan.
Other activities witnessed by Curtis Ave neighbors include drinking and smoking; a group of boys carrying a presumed ‘passed out’ teen girl into the woods; sex in hammocks strung between the trees on Kite Hill; drug dealing; parking lot car racing; and fights.
Another Curtis Ave resident, Keli Jones, said, “The behavior in the community park has become increasing concerning. I personally have witnessed alcohol/drug use and dealings, high speed driving in the parking lot, motorcycle riding all over the park, and trash and broken glass left in the park. I believe the community needs to know what is going on and what the City of Snoqualmie is doing about it.”
Things got so bad this summer that in early August, a group of neighbors met with Snoqualmie Police Outreach Officer Nigel Draveling to request new park safety and security measures.
That is where the request for a parking lot gate was posed by Pfeffer and her neighbors, along with requests for low-level lights and security cameras within the large park.
That first request for the gate is currently in the works and should be functional later this week, according to Snoqualmie Parks and Public Works Director Brian Krause.
Krause explained, “Gate posts have been set so concrete can cure for a week. This is necessary due to the heavy weight of the gate. The gate arms are planned to be installed at the end of this week.
He said the Parks Department is also refreshing park rules and hours signs. The new signs will be posted on the soon-to-be installed Ridge Street gate, as well as the other park entrances, by the end of the week.
Krause added, “We are working the Police Department, reviewing other safety measures, including cameras and lighting changes. These items are a work in progress and specific details are not yet known.”
Mayor Larson commented, “We are still looking into the efficacy of other measures such as cameras and lighting.”