Mukilteo waterfront has its opportunities, challenges | Guest View

By Rex Caldwell, Interim City Administrator | Apr 23, 2014

Mukilteo has a gem in our waterfront, with great assets today and potential for more. There are many opportunities facing us and some challenges, as well.

People visit our waterfront for a lot of reasons: to play all day at Lighthouse Park or to park and watch the waves just for an hour, to visit the lighthouse, to see friends at the Losvar condos, to visit Ivar’s, Diamond Knot or the Art Building, to stay at Silver Cloud, or as a stop before they jump on the ferry or catch the Sounder.

They come mostly by car, sometimes with others or alone, sometimes by bus, or on foot, or by ferry or train.

Visiting the waterfront by car and parking there can be a challenge. This is a concern shared by residents throughout our community, from Old Town to Possession Bay, from Olympus Terrace to One Clubhouse Lane.

The city is working toward a solution that handles parking for all users of our waterfront. The waterfront is an important asset, and attaching a cost to parking should open up spaces for others and hopefully recover costs from users who don’t pay city taxes.

Coming up with parking solutions will take time, because we are going to do it right. Our Planning Department is studying strategies and options right now. We plan to begin the discussion with the City Council and the public this summer.

Our businesses are a vibrant and valuable part of our waterfront; primarily Ivar’s, Diamond Knot, Silver Cloud and the Art Building. Any business in a high-demand area will confront challenges with parking. These businesses on our waterfront are no exception.

The mayor and I were happy to meet with Councilmember Steve Schmalz and Mr. Charlie Pancerzewski last month, and have corresponded with him a number of times about his concerns. We continue to be ready to answer his questions and those of any member of the public.

One question that Mr. Pancerzewski has asked relates to the concept of a sidewalk café outside of Diamond Knot. It turns out that is pretty complicated! I have researched this issue and am still working on ironing out the details.

We will continue to work with Washington State Parks, our staff and Diamond Knot to understand the process and fine points of the possibility of transferring land from the park to their business for the use of outdoor seating.

For now, there are three picnic tables alongside Diamond Knot’s building on the sidewalk. They are available for anyone to use.

There is no table service and no sidewalk café possible without additional steps and a process with the city and the State Parks system.

Read the Op-Ed this rebuttal is referring to here.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Lynn McKinney | Apr 24, 2014 03:27

"The city is working toward a solution that handles parking for all users of our waterfront..... Coming up with parking solutions will take time, because we are going to do it right"...Shouldn't this have been a before thought and not an after thought? We create the future today....

I think the issue is, is that Diamond not does not have designated parking and is getting preferential treatment for what ever reason.   

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