It was a year of significant change for Mountlake Terrace, both inside City Hall and throughout the community. Here are Mountlake Terrace’s biggest changes in 2016:
- Scott Hugill named Mountlake Terrace City Manager
Long-time city administrator Scott Hugill was sworn in as City Manager in June 2016.
Hugill has been with the city since 2004, first serving as Administrative Services Director and then Assistant City Manager; he had also took on the role of Interim City Manager in two separate stints before assuming City Hall’s top post last June.
Hugill’s rise to City Manager hasn’t been without some controversy as the City Council barely voted to pass his appointment in May with a 4-3 vote. A follow-up resolution asking to unanimously support the new City Manager ended up with one dissenting vote from Mayor Jerry Smith.
Hugill has also been criticized by leadership in Teamsters Local no. 763 and the Mountlake Terrace Police Guild for his role in negotiating labor agreements with the City; Hugill has come under fire as well by members of the City Council for a heavy workload of building code revisions, 2017-2018 budget preparations and other significant city business items that have extended some recent 7 p.m. city meetings until as late as midnight.
- New ownership for Rogers Market property
A development group from Seattle named “Mountlake Terrace LLC” finalized the purchase of the former Rogers Market property in October 2016 for a reported $2.5 million.
Preliminary development plans for the property include two mixed-use eight-story buildings connected by a mixed-use three-story building with a roof-level terrace. The first two floors of the planned structures would be for commercial use. Floors three through eight would be made up of a total of 280 residential units. Also included in the proposal, currently named Mountlake Village, is underground parking for 500 vehicles.
The 2.14 acre site at 23120 56th Avenue West is the largest privately held full-block parcel within the city’s Town Center District and is seen by city officials as a vital cornerstone for any future development in Mountlake Terrace’s downtown core.
- Atworth Commons construction begins
Construction began in the spring of 2016 on 31 single-family home sites between 56th and 58th Avenue West in north Mountlake Terrace. The 4.35 acres Sundquist Homes project sits on property that use to include a soccer field and green space, but was sold for development in 2014.
With the new Atworth Commons development and the opening of the private Brighton K-8 School in 2015, traffic engineers for the City of Mountlake Terrace converted the intersection of 220th Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West into a four-way stop. Future plans for the intersection, according to the city’s six-year 2016-2021 Transportation Improvement Program, call for the addition of traffic signals or converting it to a roundabout, possibly in 2020 or 2021.
- New restaurants, bakery opens
A number of new eateries opened in Mountlake Terrace in 2016.
Crema de la Crema Bakery opened its doors to great fanfare in June 2016 at 21709 66th Avenue West.
Fork Mediterranean Grill, offering Greek salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts, opened for business in Melody Hill Village at 220th Street Southwest and 66th Avenue West in October 2016.
In late 2016, Mandarin Chili Chinese Restaurant took over space in the West Plaza shopping center at 232nd Street Southwest and 56th Avenue West that had previously been occupied by a different eatery offering Chinese cuisine.
- Calvary Tabernacle United Pentacostal Church moves out of Mountlake Terrace building
Calvary Tabernacle United Pentacostal Church members held their final services in their long-time home at 5507 236th Street Southwest in the spring of 2016, making way for a developer to begin preparations for new construction on the property.
ARCO & Sons, builders of the five-story mixed-use Arbor Village development on the southeast corner of 236th Street Southwest and 56th Avenue West, hope to build a similar mixed-use structure on the former church property and three adjacent parcels to the east.
- City forms new City Hall advisory committee, advertises for project architect
In December 2016, city officials took two steps that may eventually led to the placement of a November 2017 ballot measure seeking tax funds for a new Mountlake Terrace City Hall.
The Mountlake Terrace City Council gave its okay on December 5 to form a nine-person City Hall Advisory Committee whose mission is to develop a plan to design, fund and construct a new city hall complex on city-owned property at 232nd Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West. The committee meets for the first time on Jan. 11.
City officials also began seeking professional architectural or planning consulting services in December for conceptual plans and cost estimates for a new City Hall facility. Architectural or planning firms have until Jan. 17 to submit their bids for services.
- Retail marijuana shops open
Two retail marijuana shops opened for business in Mountlake Terrace in 2016. In February, Fweedom Cannabis opened its doors at 21911 64th Avenue West, Suite D; then in the fall Rainier Cannabis began operations at 22002 64th Avenue West, Ste. 2A.
Current state regulations limit the number of retail stores selling marijuana and cannabis-related products in Mountlake Terrace to two.
- Turf, track surface replaced at Mountlake Terrace High School
The Edmonds School District completed upgrades to the running track, long jump pits and throwing areas on the west side of Mountlake Terrace High School and the baseball/football/soccer field on the east side of the school over the summer of 2016.
The new surfaces not only benefited the student athletes of Mountlake Terrace High School, but also the many local residents and youth sports programs that utilize the athletic facilities on weekends and in the evenings.
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski