BHC Consultants presented conceptual ideas of a downtown plaza to the Enumclaw City Council on Nov. 27, which includes a splash park, a playground, a covered stage and a picnic lawn. Image courtesy of BHC Consultants

BHC Consultants presented conceptual ideas of a downtown plaza to the Enumclaw City Council on Nov. 27, which includes a splash park, a playground, a covered stage and a picnic lawn. Image courtesy of BHC Consultants

Enumclaw moves forward with downtown plaza proposal

Convinced that downtown Enumclaw has unrealized potential, the city will soon be looking for developers interested in turning dreams to reality.

Convinced that downtown Enumclaw has unrealized potential, the city will soon be looking for developers interested in turning dreams to reality.

The notion of using public land to create a destination for locals and visitors is nothing new. A plan was developed, gathered cobwebs for a time and was eventually dusted off with a renewed sense of interest. On Dec. 11, members of the Enumclaw City Council gave their blessing for administration to seek proposals for development at the intersection of Stevenson Avenue and Cole Street, presently a parking lot.

The action taken during the council’s final meeting of 2017 is the latest installment in a tale that stretches back to at least 2006. That’s when the city amended its municipal code to allow for multi-story, mixed-use development in downtown zones. At that time, the city had heard from two private developers who kicked around the notion of developing the land; those plans were scrapped, however, with the onset of the most-recent recession.

Former Mayor Liz Reynolds has been an outspoken booster of downtown development and pushed for money to be included in the city budget that paid for professional help in kick-starting the project.

Three options were drawn up and presented during a June 2015 workshop. A month ago, BHC Consultants presented a conceptualized plan for a public plaza and pavilion between Cole and Railroad Streets.

That led to the council’s Nov. 11 vote, which allows administration to seek parties interested in mixed-use development. The action does not commit the city to a specific design or financial arrangement; city options include selling the land or securing a long-term lease.

Enumclaw Town Plaza presentation by Ray Still on Scribd

THE BIGGER PICTURE

The city has long looked at all its downtown holdings and considered what could best serve the community. The land in question covers just over 10 acres, includes parcels on both sides of Railroad Avenue and stretches from Stevenson Avenue on the south to Washington Avenue on the north.

Included on the city-owned land are parking spaces for 400 vehicles, the building housing the Chamber of Commerce and Arts Alive!, Rotary Centennial Park, the Loggers Legacy Memorial, the public library and all the vacant land sitting directly north of the library, including the community garden.

The goals for the entire area, according to plans shared during the 2015 workshop, include a handful of key elements.

• to create a downtown “gathering space” with amenities attractive to both residents and tourists;

• to include a space for events ranging from a farmers market to street fairs, outdoor movies and concerts.

• to develop Railroad Street and Initial Avenue as a promenade with wide sidewalks and unique paving;

• to “fill the block” on Cole Street. It was noted the current situation, with a parking lot fronting Cole, creates a visual barrier, effectively putting an end to the shopping district.

Also mentioned is the importance of creating downtown housing as part of the mixed-use nature of the proposed development. People who live downtown support shops and restaurants.

More in News

Former Plateau resident lands role with Marvel T.V. series

McKay Stewart, who spent much of his childhood in Enumclaw and Bonney Lake, will be joining the Marvel universe in a new episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airing Friday, Jan. 19.

Black Diamond hits the reset button

The new Black Diamond City Council wasted no time on settling in and testing the political waters. On their first meeting of the year, new Councilwomen Melissa Oglesbee and Erin Stout and returning Councilwomen Tamie Deady and Janie Edelman marched through a long list of agenda items, many of which reversed council policies and goals set over the last two years.

Citizen group urges council to start pool planning

With the Sumner High School pool closing at the end of the 2018-2019 swim season, residents are asking the City of Bonney Lake to build a city pool to house the Panther and Spartan swim teams. A presentation on why the council should start planning a pool as quickly as possible is being held Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Bonney Lake releases findings on water meter tests, ends internal audit

Dozens of residents complained to the council last October about what they called impossibly high water bills. After several months performing an internal audit of the water utility system, including testing 43 water meters from homes that received a high water bills, the city holds there is no bug in the system, and residents used the amount of water recorded on their bills. But some residents, and even councilmembers, remain unconvinced.

White River Valley Museum opens “Suffer for Beauty” exhibit

Corsets, bras, and bustles, oh my! The White River Valley Museum is hosting its new event, “Suffer for Beauty,” which is all about the changing ideals of female beauty through the ages. The exhibit runs through June 17.

Teacher, student reconnect at living center after 66 years

A person can change in 66 years. At the very least, they’re going to look pretty different. So when Robert Terrell, 96, and Margaret (Peggy) Burley, 75, ran into each other at Bonney Lake’s Cedar Ridge assisted living facility last August, neither of them realized they had met before — at an elementary school, where he was a fourth-grade teacher, and she was a part of his first ever class.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

Sumner School District seeks name ideas for new elementary school

Want to name your new local school? Just fill out a short form by Jan. 26

Judge reproaches Black Diamond mayor, former city council majority

In a summary judgement hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Janet Helson said she was troubled by both the actions of Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and former City Council majority Pat Pepper, Brian Weber, and Erika Morgan over the last two years concerning potential Open Public Meetings Act violations.

Most Read