County, Lake Stevens plan overhaul of Cavelero Hill Park

LAKE STEVENS — Plans to overhaul Cavelero Hill Park have gained momentum and a covered skate park could open there as soon as next year.

The park is just off 20th Street SE at 27032 79th Ave. It has a popular off-leash dog park with two fenced areas, a gravel parking lot and a big open field.

Snohomish County owns the park but it falls within the city of Lake Stevens, which annexed the neighborhood in 2009. City and county leaders for years have been talking about improving the park. A master plan was drawn up in 2002 but hasn’t been built out.

County and city planners recently teamed up to revise the plan. Public meetings were held last year to gather ideas. The updated plan is set to go before the Snohomish County Council by the end of February and already has support from Lake Stevens officials.

The first phase of construction proposed for the park includes the skate park, additional parking and extending the access road, said Kevin Teague, a senior park planner for Snohomish County. How much more work could be done depends on the budget, he said.

A $500,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce is going toward the project. The city of Lake Stevens and Snohomish County officials have talked about putting in $250,000 each from the city and county, bringing the total budget up to at least $1 million for the first phase of work. Those amounts have not been finalized.

“It’s a great location really with all the new housing around it and Cavelero Mid-High,” Teague said. “The collaborative effort with Lake Stevens and us, I think, will be pretty powerful.”

Trestle Station, with a gas station, car wash, shop and espresso stand planned, is going in across the street from the park. New housing developments line the street.

City leaders are putting an emphasis on recreation, Lake Stevens public works director and city engineer Mick Monken said. The skate park would add easy-to-access activities for students at nearby Cavelero Mid High School.

“They’re looking at it being one of the first covered skate parks in the area,” Monken said. “I really think it could help add to the excitement out there. There’s a lot going on.”

Eventually, the goal is to build a BMX track, update the dog park, add parking and trails and put in a playground. Volleyball and basketball courts, restrooms and picnic shelters are sketched into the plans. The final phase of construction would set up three small shops at the north end of the park that could be leased from the county.

The BMX track, which also would be covered, is slated to be built after the skate park but before the shops.

County staff are readying a contract for a firm to design the skate park. If the County Council approves it, the skate park could be done in spring 2017, Teague said.

If leaders decides against the contract or funding, it could delay work but shouldn’t derail it, Teague said.

“There’s so much energy toward the development of the skate park, and it’s such a great park in a great location,” he said.

It’s a five-minute drive for Sandra Anderson to bring her 4-year-old schnauzer Tug to the dog park. She’s there at least once a week, more when the weather is nice. It’s a well-used park, she said, and she’d like to see a playground there for families. She’s supportive of plans to overhaul the park.

“Personally, I think it’s a great idea, as long as they keep the dog park,” she said. “I see all this land and it’s not being used. It would be nice to have it be kind of a full-service park.”

Cheryl Zeigler lives less than two miles away. She goes to Cavelero frequently with Parker, her 10-year-old mutt with the bright fur and boundless energy of the yellow lab in his genes.

She’s fine with the plans and excited for dog park improvements. Grading would get the dogs’ play area out of mud on rainy days. A spigot to fill water bowls would be handy, she said. On hot summer afternoons, she’s seen more than 20 dogs at a time in the off-leash area, supervised by owners who hopefully remembered an extra water bottle.

“On nice days in the afternoon, it’s a crowd,” Zeigler said. “There are weeks when we come every day. I love it. My dog loves it.”

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

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