Survey says Mukilteans want access to water

City completes online parks survey with 850 responses
By Nicholas Johnson | Jul 05, 2017
Photo by: Nicholas Johnson Park Ranger Peg Bohan speaks with residents about open spaces in Mukilteo during a drop-in town hall meeting May 24 at City Hall.

When it comes to parks and recreation, Mukilteo residents want more and better access to beaches and water, according to a recent city survey.

“We asked people to identify their most desired park features,” associate city planner Karl Almgren said. “Four of the top five answers were water-oriented. That provides us with such a clear direction on what our priorities should be in updating our master plans.”

Between May 8 and June 11, an online survey about city parks, open space, recreation and public art garnered some 850 responses.

“I would say this was the city’s most successful voluntary survey in a long while,” Almgren said, noting that while the results are not statistically valid because people could respond more than once, they still provide clear direction to staff.

“We wanted more people involved and expressing their opinions than fewer, and it appears to have been a pretty honest survey. We didn’t see any kind of significant repetition being done, such as multiple answers from the same IP address, that would make us want to cut answers.”

Some 37.6 percent of respondents live in Harbour Pointe, while 25.9 percent live on the north end of Mukilteo and another 24.5 percent live between Olympic View Middle School and 92nd Street. Some 19 percent of responses came from people with children under age 13 in the household.

More than three in four respondents said recreation and cultural activities are either important or very important in their everyday lives. Some 93.8 percent said they use Lighthouse Park more than other city park and facility, and 52.2 percent said a waterfront promenade is their most desired future park feature.

The survey, which featured 152 questions, garnered detailed input that city staff, along with J.A. Brennan Associates of Seattle, plan to use in updating the city’s 2012 plan for managing parks, open space, recreation and arts, which is called PROSA for short. That plan was based on community survey data from 2007.

The city also held a drop-in town hall meeting in May, giving residents a chance to offer feedback in person.

Almgren is set to present the survey results during a Parks and Arts Committee meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at City Hall. The results can also be found online at mukparks.com. Also available there is an interactive map of city parks, accompanied by descriptions, that the city launched in May.

“The inventory on that parks map includes city parks and trails,” Almgren said. “It’s probably our best looking parks map to date.”

Also on Thursday’s committee agenda is discussion of a public art funding ordinance. Almgren said city staff are considering a plan many other cities use that applies a 1 percent tax to capital improvement projects, with revenues going toward public art projects. He said that discussion will likely become more robust this fall.

The city hopes to complete a first draft of the new PROSA plan in September. Then, the Parks & Arts Commission will hold a public hearing in October before the City Council holds a public hearing in December.

The city must adopt the plan by March 2018 in order to be eligible for funding from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), including funding for continued development of the Waterfront.

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