Leland Consulting Group Managing Principal Chris Zahas and Associate David Fiske on Feb. 8 presented a review of the city’s economic development strategic plan to the Mountlake Terrace City Council.
Among their suggestions for economic diversification were recruiting industries in the life sciences, the global health industry and the clean energy sector. Other suggestions were aerospace, information and communication, technology, maritime, military and defense, tourism, transportation and logistics, and business services.
Some councilmembers expressed frustration with the report’s recommendations. Councilmember Steve Woodard said that he felt that Leland Consulting Group gave up on Mountlake Terrace and the firm was presenting “South Everett” opportunities, which will not work.
“We’re not even zoned for some of this,” Woodard said.
Zahas explained that due to its small size, Mountlake Terrace doesn’t have much to offer industries requiring large pieces of land, but added that the industries mentioned can fit into many different building types.
Fiske pointed out that Mountlake Terrace’s closest grocery stores are away from the city’s core, with the nearest store to the Town Center being QFC, a little over a mile away.
Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright said she believes that a future building in the Town Center should be an office building, and there should be something to attract the arts.
Wright stated that before the pandemic, many businesses in Seattle sought satellite offices in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. With offices downsizing due to more employees working from home, smaller offices might be needed.
Zahas stated that Leland Consulting Group’s work with Lynnwood found that a 200-unit apartment has more daytime workers than an office park.
Fiske said that roughly half of Mountlake Terrace residents work from home.
In other business, the city council moved to place the award of $25,000 in requested allocations from the city’s lodging taxes onto the Feb. 15 consent calendar. Friends of the Arts of the Terrace Juried Art Show requested $10,000 for 2023, and the Tour de Terrace Summer Festival requested $15,000.
Woodard asked why more organizations don’t apply for the funding, stating that “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring something new to the city.”
Mayor Wright explained that in the past, the city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) received many applications from organizations and people not connected to Mountlake Terrace who were holding their events in the city.
Councilmember Laura Sonmore added that the event must bring overnight stays to receive lodging tax funds because “it’s a hotel/motel tax.” However, she added that there are more people interested in applying next year.
Those applying must also be or be connected to a nonprofit organization. Events Coordinator Andrew Appelwick said that the city can request lodging tax funds for anything bringing in overnight stays.
Another challenge for applicants, he added, was the fact that the application process occurred at the end of the year.
“If it’s a first-time event that they haven’t planned for yet or they are not aware that the funds were there, it will take them about a year to be able to put together a scope that is feasible for them to apply for and to have some form of nonprofit ties to it,” Appelwick said.
Studio 6 Hotel, located in Gateway Place, is the city’s only lodging facility that collects hotel/motel taxes. Under state law, the city council cannot act on any application the LTAC selects for funding until at least 45 days after the application is submitted.
The council also received a review from Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Betz and Parks Project Manager Donnelle Dayao for the proposed building to replace the concession stand at the Evergreen Playfield #3.
The existing building, constructed in the 1970s, will be replaced with a prefabricated concrete building made and assembled on-site with cranes. It will feature stainless steel sinks, toilets, hand dryers and hot water access.
The building will have LED lighting both inside and on the outside walls. New external features include a bottle-filling station and programmable electronic locking doors.
Costs are not to exceed $620,000.
Approval for the building’s purchase was moved to the Feb. 15 consent calendar.
Supplement 3 with Berger Partnership for work on Ballinger Park was also approved during the Feb. 6 meeting.
The original design agreement with Berger Partnership for the Ballinger Viewing Platform and Trails Project amounted to $399,939 and expires on Feb. 29, 2024. The proposed supplement will extend the completion time to Feb. 28, 2025.
The design and schedule changed to address environmental regulations and compliance as field data showed wetland impacts that also had associated regulatory permitting.
Finally, the council approved the annexation agreement for an unincorporated property on 240th St Southwest.
The owner’s septic tank is failing, and the property is in the process of being annexed; however, the process is going slowly. This agreement states that the annexation of the property must be completed within six months of the agreement being signed.
The next city council meeting will start at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Mountlake Terrace City Hall, 23204 58th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace.
To attend the meeting online, visit zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID 810 1113 9518; no passcode is needed.
To make a public comment remotely, complete the registration form within 24 hours of the meeting’s start at cityofmlt.com/FormCenter/City-Council-17/Remote-Public-Comment-Request-Form-12.
To listen via telephone, call 1-253-215-8782 and enter the same meeting ID.
You also can view livestreamed meetings and past video recordings at www.youtube.com/cityofmlt.
The agenda can be viewed here.
— By Rick Sinnett