City Briefs for week of March 20

Mar 20, 2013

City changes dog park hours

New Lighthouse Park hours proposed

With the addition of a dog park in Mukilteo, and because of safety concerns, the City Council recently asked staff to look into changing operating ours at all city parks.

The council unanimously passed an ordinance on Monday that changes the closed hours for all parks in Mukilteo – except Lighthouse Park – from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to dusk to dawn.

Lighthouse Park hours will remain the same, at least for now. The council also on Monday referred proposed changes to the waterfront park’s hours to the Parks and Arts Commission for review.

Unlike other city parks, Lighthouse Park has a parking lot that is used by more than just park visitors. It provides parking for commuters, condo visitors, restaurant patrons, boat launch users and more.

City staff has proposed an ordinance to accommodate all of the above users while also restricting the use of the beach and walkways after dusk. Staff said it would also prevent overnight use of the park.

As proposed, the ordinance would provide different closure times according to Lighthouse Park uses:

All areas of the park other than the parking lot, such as the beach or walkways, would be closed dusk to dawn.

The parking lot would be available by permit for commuters and Losvar Condominium visitors 24 hours a day.

Parking for boat launch users would be available from 4 a.m. to dusk.

The parking lot would be closed from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

As it is now, Lighthouse Park is closed 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Oct. 1 and April 30 and from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. between May 1 and Sept. 30 unless otherwise posted.

The Japanese Gulch Group’s Dog Park Committee brought the issue of park hours to the council due to concerns about the safety of an unlit park open until 10 p.m.

City awards $5,600 in community grants

The city has awarded $5,600 in grants to community projects.

The following are the three community projects awarded 2013 Community Support Grants:

• Mukilteo Elementary Playground: $1,720 to assist the Mukilteo Elementary PTSA fundraiser for the Mukilteo School District to purchase and install new playground equipment this summer;

• SOC Campaign: $3,300 to Save Our Communities (SOC) for community outreach by means of posters, signs, mailings and advertising to raise awareness of the effects of scheduled passenger air service at Paine Field;

• Mukilteo Wildlife Garden: $580 for the Snohomish Conservation District and the Mukilteo Wildlife Habitat Project to enhance the existing wildlife garden at Mukilteo Library by replacing wooden borders, adding 45 native plants, replacing 15 plants that have died and providing labels for new plant species.

The council approved the grants on Monday; they will be funded by the city’s general fund.

The city’s Finance Committee received four applications for city support. The committee ranked the applications based on award guidelines and then allocated funds based on the scores.

The city awarded grants to these projects because they support and encourage economic development and the general health and well-being of the community.

Big Gulch Trail is finished

Wilderness lovers will be happy to know: After six years, the Big Gulch Trail is now complete.

A two-mile trail in Big Gulch was recently completed that starts at Harbour Pointe Boulevard and ends at the Sewer District Access Road. There is no access to the beach at this time.

Big Gulch is the largest-spanning ravine in Mukilteo. Its trail system snakes through the city-owned land between Harbour Place and 92nd Street Park, connecting the north and south ends of town, and provides walkers and bikers access to schools, the local library, stores and the YMCA.

Big Gulch Trail has been a longtime vision of the city’s since the land was annexed in 1991. Twenty years later, the $435,000 trail has been finished and paid for, mostly by grants.

In 2007, the city built the first leg of the trail in partnership with the Mukilteo Water and Wastewater District. The sewer district had needed to reconstruct the sewer line through the gulch, and the city saw an opportunity to start the trail.

The second leg of the trail was built in 2009, which links 92nd Street Park to the main trail. That segment includes a bridge across Big Gulch Creek and a twisting staircase.

The last and newest segment that completes the trail system also includes a bridge and a 40-foot segment of cross-slopes.

The entire trail has a moderate elevation change of about 450 feet.

More information on the trail can be found at www.ci.mukilteo.wa.us on the Parks and Recreation page.

-Sara Bruestle

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