The Port of Everett’s 99-stall parking lot on the former ferry holding lanes is ready for use after the city approved the final permit last week. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

The Port of Everett’s 99-stall parking lot on the former ferry holding lanes is ready for use after the city approved the final permit last week. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Port parking at Mukilteo waterfront finally opens

The 99-stall lot on the former ferry holding lanes includes 63 spots for someone to leave a car for up to 72 hours.

MUKILTEO — Overnight public parking is finally available at the Mukilteo waterfront.

The Port of Everett’s 99-stall parking lot opened Friday afternoon within hours of the city approving its shoreline permit. Planters around the lot will get filled once the weather warms a bit.

It came months later than port leaders initially envisioned after more information was needed.

“It’s really exciting it’s open,” port spokesperson Cat Soper said Monday.

The space became available after the new ferry terminal was built northeast and left the pavement open for other uses. The port bought the former vehicle holding lane property, just under 1 acre, for $3.5 million in September.

There’s a 21-day period to appeal the shoreline permit for the interim lot but Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine said he doesn’t expect there to be an issue.

The lot has 36 monthly permit stalls that cost $300 each. There was a 17-person waitlist for those, Soper said.

Another 63 stalls are for parking up to 72 hours. Overnight parking lets travelers leave their car on the mainland when visiting Whidbey Island, where they can board public buses without paying a fare. Those spots cost $28 a day.

“I don’t necessarily want to be Whidbey’s parking lot,” Marine said.

Other durations are up to 2 hours for $2.50, 4 hours for $5 and 10 hours for $20.

People can pay at ticket machines at the lot or by using the LAZ Parking app from the company contracted to manage it.

A traffic survey done for the permit application estimated another 383 daily trips at the lot.

The city assessed over $13,400 in transportation impact fees to the port for the parking lot, according to the permit decision.

The port can operate the parking lot through 2026 while the city finalizes plans for the accessible waterfront’s future.

Some day the property could be a building with commercial space on the ground floor facing the water, a parking structure behind it and residences on top, Marine said. But that’s up to decisions by the port, developers and the city and likely years away.

People are drawn to attractions like the park and restaurants on the waterfront. That often means they drive there and need somewhere to park, Marine said.

His preference is for consolidated parking on the waterfront side of the railroad. A good chunk of Lighthouse Park’s property is a parking lot. If those spots were available in a garage nearby, that space could become grass, shrubs, trails and trees.

“I want to hide the parking but we need the parking,” Marine said.

The city taxes commercial parking, so it expects to see a “small bump” in revenue from that and more spending at the nearby restaurants such as Diamond Knot, Ivar’s and Arnie’s.

Mukilteo’s waterfront is a bustling place during nice weather. But sometimes people linger later than the park hours and police officers kick stragglers out. Instead, the city plans to install an automatic gate that keeps vehicles out after-hours and still lets someone exit once the park closes.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037; bwatanabe@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

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