Letter: Taxes from waterfront tourism not worth traffic

Aug 02, 2017

Most council members think their Downtown Waterfront Master Plan is wonderful.

Some want more non-waterfront activities, like volleyball or a sprinkler feature for children to run though the water or swings and play equipment. Those are activities that can be played or enjoyed in other parks. Limited space at Lighthouse Park is not required. No need for traffic and parking problems at that location for non-waterfront beach activities.

Some want more businesses on the waterfront to attract tourists because they say it will create tax revenue. Others want a downtown parking-garage, as well.

Residents have plenty of free parking and do not need a downtown garage. No need to spend tax dollars for a resident garage. Most businesses have parking. Ivars could build another story on their parking lot.

Mukilteo’s law was changed to provide 24 full-time street parking permits at the Silver Cloud’s request before it was built. The hotel said that parking was sufficient. They pay nothing for those valuable spaces.

Diamond Knot doubled its space two years ago without any parking. Each business gets 20 free employee parking permits. Paid parking is available for customers and visitors.

It is primarily commuters that want more parking than the 100 spaces they now pay the city $160 a month to use. Some residents sell their parking spaces in violation of the law, which is not enforced.

Encouraging more businesses downtown to raise tax revenue results in more traffic and parking. The problems and cost would be far greater than they’re worth.

Mukilteo’s sales tax would be $8,500 from $1 million of additional sales. For example, 50,000 sales of $20 achieves $1 million in sales. How many cars would drive downtown and park to achieve that volume of sales tax revenue? Do council members proposing more downtown businesses on the waterfront believe this makes sense?

I have yet to see projections or analyses of bringing more businesses to Old Town. People just say tourism is good for Mukilteo without showing the impacts to justify their statements. Mukilteo spends a lot of money to promote more tourism.

Parking at Bernie Webber Drive with a waterfront shuttle would reduce the traffic/parking mess that would occur from more downtown businesses and commuters who create an unsuitable downtown living environment.

Those who want more visitors and businesses should attract them to Harbour Pointe where council members live. Old Town residents receive no benefit from more tourists.


Charlie Pancerzewski
Comments (1)
Posted by: Joe Kunzler | Aug 02, 2017 16:07

Charlie, I may not drive but I share some of your concerns as a friend of Mukilteo.  I don't think encouraging more "free" parking is a good idea either, I think encouraging more transit use is.  I also think a pivot towards Paine Field is best and any future snobbing of Paine Field unhelpful if not hurtful.

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