City Councilmember Asks Port Of Everett To Stop Collecting Parking Fees, Port Declines

July 10, 2019

Everett, Everett Government

Image courtesy Everett Farmers Market-Port of Everett

Earlier this month Everett City Councilmember Brenda Stonecipher sent a letter to the Port of Everett CEO and Commissioners asking them to stop charging a $2.00 fee for parking to attend events such as the Everett Farmers Market on Sunday and the Music at the Marina concerts on Thursdays. Here’s an excerpt from her letter.

I am writing to you on behalf of the residents of the City of Everett that I represent, who also pay property taxes to the Port of Everett. The purpose of my letter is to ask that you cease the collection of parking fees for events that occur on Port property. Over the past several weeks, I have fielded numerous complaints from Everett residents who are now being charged a $2 parking fee for the privilege of parking in your unimproved gravel parking lot while they attend the Sunday Farmer’s Market and the City of Everett-sponsored Music at the Marina. I’m sure you are also hearing from some of these taxpayers from your district, many of whom believe this is an effort to thwart the public’s access to the waterfront.

You can read the full letter from Councilmember Stonecipher by clicking the link below.

Parking letter to POE 7.1.19

In response Tuesday Port of Everett CEO/Executive Director Les Reardanz set Council member Stonecipher a letter that said in part.

While the Waterfront Place development enhances quality of life and livability in the City by creating a place where our citizens can live, work, play and thrive, it also inherently creates interim challenges, and frankly, some growing pains. Excitement surrounding the development has resulted in an exponential increase in site use and parking demand. Overthe last couple of years, the Port has received ongoing complaints about the lack of parking management from a range of our site users – waterfront and Jetty lsland visitors, event attendees, marina slipholders, boat launch users, on-site businesses and others. Many times, this constituencies are competing for parking.

To put this into perspective, I will use a Farmers Market day as an example of the challenges we face. On a typical Sunday, the Market, which was moved to a temporary location to accommodate the City’s Grand Avenue Park Bridge project, attracts approximately 5,000 people in a six-hour period. There are about 300 visitor parking spaces near the Market that quickly fill to capacity. This limits access to other waterfront amenities, and at times, creates long back-ups along West Marine View Drive while visitors circle the site to find parking. The Everett Farmers Market is a wonderful attraction that the Port of Everett has fostered, supported and helped grow over the years. ln the past five years with the Port’s support, the Market has expanded from 36 lo 167 vendors; only 100 can be accommodated each Sunday due to space constraints. We view it as a positive for the Market’s success that they have out grown the waterfront location. The Port, Market and City are currently working in partnership to explore possible relocation opportunities downtown to accommodate the Sunday Market’s growth, while featuring smaller scale pop-up markets at the waterfront.

We know parking management is not popular, but we have reached a point with the level of activity on the waterfront that it has become necessary. Parking management is a key component to the success of this mixed-use destination waterfront, and it is being implemented as required by the City and approved by the City Council as part of the City/Port Development Agreement for Waterfront Place.

You can read the full letter from CEO Reardanz by clicking the link below.

Reardanz Letter of Reply to Councilmember Stonecipher_7.9.19

So that is where the issue stands at this time. The Everett Farmers Market is about a third of the way through their season and politely declined to comment on the situation. We’ll keep our ears open and let you know if there are any further developments.

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