City receives grant funds for downtown

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By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Bonney Lake's downtown plan is about to take a step forward.

After seven years of little movement, the plan received a Competitive Growth Management grant of $35,000 from the state's Department of Community Trade and Economic Development.

The city announced the grant Jan. 5 and Mayor Neil Johnson said he intends to move forward quickly with the downtown plans.

“The timing is perfect,” Johnson said. “We want to get the ball rolling. We also have some money from the budget last year that was not spent.”

In 1998 Makers, a Seattle urban design and architectural firm, drew up the initial downtown plan.

According to Planning Manager Steve Ladd, the grant money will allow Bonney Lake to update the plan and bring parties together.

“The original plan was very good, but people were not unanimously behind it,” Ladd said. “It is very important for something like this plan to succeed to have near unanimity. It takes a long time to build a downtown area and many builders and developers are involved.”

The city's plan will center on a triangular area around Grocery Outlet.

The northern border of the area would be about 100 yards north of Sumner-Buckley Highway, the east border would 150 yards east of 184th Avenue East and the southwest about 100 yards southwest of SR 410 East.

Johnson plans to present to the council a proposal to create an ad hoc committee of 10 to 12 to oversee the spending of the grant money, analyzing market sectors and spending trends.

The mayor has also directed city staff to purchase three types of banners to hang on Puget Sound Energy light poles to identity the three sections of Bonney Lake - Downtown, Midtown and Eastown.

“I want everyone to be able to identify the part of the city they are in,” Johnson said. “This will start creating an identity.”

Midtown is the business section along SR 410 from about 192nd Avenue East to 214th Avenue East. Eastown begins at 214th and continues to 233rd/234th Avenue East.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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