Mayor's response: Why over water isn’t a good idea | Letter
Editor, The Beacon:
There are some environmental challenges with the over-water pier that make it not possible. It’s hard to get approval to add over-water structures to the Sound because of those challenges (“hard” may be an understatement).
It would be also expensive in that area because the water is quite deep. There is also an environmental benefit to the Sound to removing the 4,000 creosote pilings that make up the current old Tank Farm pier. They make up 4 percent of all creosote pilings in Puget Sound today.
Creosote is bad for salmon and pilings like these have been targeted for removal by Washington state.
Mukilteo will end up with about 10 of the 20 Tank Farm acres in city possession. We’ll have several acres for parkland or retail development. Any of the other owners also have to comply with our zoning regulations.
Most ground-floor development on the Tank Farm will need to be publicly open spaces, such as retail or commercial uses, no matter who owns it.
I know it’s not a perfect plan, and some of the designs that were contemplated 10 years ago or so had more appealing features, but funding and environmental constraints have gotten us to this point.
If the ferry terminal stayed where it is, we would never be able to improve the Front Street intersection, and it would remain a challenging place to visit.
I am excited about the possibilities for the access all along our waterfront from one end to the other, from Lighthouse Park to Edgewater Park.
I think having a restaurant, art gallery or small shop where the current holding lanes are will make for a more vibrant area, along with a few other similar options in different spots along the Tank Farm.
I’m excited to expand the access at Park Avenue down to the water – perhaps some facilities for the divers who use the area, and some more parking for those uses.
I can’t wait to see the new NOAA designs and eventual facility. It will be great when they have a space in which to welcome students and visitors.
The city is considering updating our Waterfront Master Plan this year or next, to bring together the community in creating a vision for the waterfront and how these uses interconnect.
Mayor of Mukilteo