Monroe ice rink idea gets cautious support

MONROE — The City Council signaled cautious support for a proposal to build an ice rink near U.S. 2, but council members are worried about what it could mean to a small airport near the site.

“The benefit it would bring would be outstanding, but I want to protect the airport,” Councilman Kurt Goering said during a meeting Tuesday night.

During the meeting, Lake Stevens business owner Clayton Stewart laid out details for the 35,000- to 45,000-square-foot ice rink proposed for 13800 Fryelands Blvd., southwest of the highway.

He told the council he’d like to bring a youth hockey team to the arena to anchor the business. It would also would be open for public skating, figure skating and amateur and semi-pro hockey league games.

There are also plans to have batting cages and broomball, another recreational sport played on ice.

The project would cost about $7.6 million, said Stewart, who said he is representing a group of business owners. He declined to provide details about the group.

The big issue is that in 2007 the council approved regulations on the area to protect the airport First Air Field.

These regulations restrict building height and population density. Monroe’s staff is now planning to work on recommendations to amend the city’s comprehensive plan and zoning code, public works director Brad Feilberg said.

The council can discuss these recommendations at the July 10 meeting at the earliest.

These changes would determine the facility’s size, amenities and what kind of hockey team it could bring to the city, Stewart said.

During his presentation, Stewart said the type of youth team that would be brought to the arena would depend on the arena’s size, but it would be at least one level below the Everett Silvertips.

“The density is not a deal killer,” Stewart said after the meeting. “The goal is to build an ice rink. We are moving forward to secure the property.”

The group is working with the Redmond-based company East Side Masonry to purchase the 7 acres on Fryelands Boulevard.

The group scouted different places to build the ice arena including Lake Stevens, a place close to the Evergreen Speedway and vacant big-box stores. The group chose the land on the western side of Monroe because of other recreational activities already located in the area such as the YMCA, the skateboarding park and the recently approved wakeboarding park.

The project has been in Stewart’s mind for a couple of years.

A proposal to build an arena in Seattle to house NBA and NHL teams is fueling interest to build the ice rink now, he said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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