Master plan may soon be approved, now on to feasibilityBY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR With the city of Lake Stevens growing by leaps and bounds city staff and the city council have been busy looking for ways to build a new civic center with the goal of keeping it in downtown Lake Stevens.
The property located on Grade Road just beyond the Police Department could become the future site of city hall, a new library, a gateway park and additional residential homes. Fire District 8 may even include their administration offices on the property.
Last year the property owner, Seattle-based Mastro, was looking to develop the property into single family residential and take it out of the planned business district, according to Becky Ableman, city planning director.
“We wanted to make sure we weren’t shooting ourselves in the foot by taking this out of commercial zoning,” Ableman said.
The city council decided to step back and take a look at the property for a future city campus.
They hired a private consulting firm to put together a master plan and then presented different ideas to the public at city council meetings last fall. After hearing input from neighbors and other community members they came up with the current plan.
Within the plan there is commercial, retail, mixed use residential and it also includes restoring Catherine Creek with walkways and trails throughout.
“Everyone wanted us to go out and do a master plan and get everyone involved and try to come to some consensus about what should go here,” Ableman said. “Now everyone seems to be happy with the master plan.”
According to the master plan, the property will need residential housing to be able to economically support downtown retail shops.
Many funding ideas have been discussed and the city has even asked Senator Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, to include $800,000 in the Senate budget to go toward the new civic center. The budget should be finalized soon with the current legislative session coming to a close next week.
“The city is looking at different financing options,” Jan Berg, city administrator said.
A lease to purchase from the owners and selling city owned property are just some of the options being looked at.
If the city is able to move to the proposed center, it will open up the waterfront property they are currently housed in. One idea is to create a park at North Cove that will cater to families.
“This plan shows getting off the waterfront and opening it up for the park. Really make this park something special,” Ableman stated.
If all goes according to plan, the city could be in their new offices by 2009.