The Port of Everett is applying for permits to operate a paid parking lot, which would allow overnight parking, where the former ferry holding lanes were in Mukilteo. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

The Port of Everett is applying for permits to operate a paid parking lot, which would allow overnight parking, where the former ferry holding lanes were in Mukilteo. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Port’s parking lot in Mukilteo may not open until spring

The permit process, which required a traffic study and other analyses, is taking longer than the Port of Everett hoped.

Mukilteo’s waterfront is a popular place.

Lighthouse Park, Diamond Knot, Ivar’s, scuba diving, the Sounder commuter rail station and the ferry terminal make it surge with people coming and going, often in cars.

All of that makes parking a premium.

It’s why the Port of Everett shelled out $3.5 million for the former ferry vehicle holding lanes property. They are turning it into an overnight lot. But while the property has pavement and striped stalls, its opening is caught up in the permit application process with the city.

“It’s high time that that thing is open,” said Mike Antetomaso of Langley. “You’ll probably see my obituary before you see that thing open.”

Hopefully he can hang on a little longer.

Initially, the port envisioned opening it around Labor Day. But the 99-stall lot needed more documents for its permit.

In September, port staff thought it could mean another 30 to 120 days. With the longer range approaching quickly, Antetomaso asked The Daily Herald to check on its status.

Now the port’s leaders are hopeful the lot can open within six weeks, which would be around the end of January or start of February.

“The process to get this lot open has taken longer than we had hoped as we did end up having to go through a full change of use process, which we had not originally anticipated,” port spokesperson Cat Soper wrote in an email.

On Tuesday, Mukilteo’s permit desk was waiting on and expected to review some of the required documents, which include a traffic survey, Mayor Joe Marine said.

He said the lot could open in time for spring, when visits to the park and waterfront start to increase.

Part of that delay stemmed from the port needing to apply for a land use change. On the outside, it may seem unnecessary because its former and proposed uses basically are the same: parking. But where the ferry lanes were for transportation, the port’s lot essentially is a commercial use.

Once it opens, the port will contract with LAZ Parking to manage it. People can pay through an app.

The city charges taxes of 10% for sales and 25% for parking at the lot. Those taxes will show up in addition to the fees, which signs at the lot list starting at $2.50 an hour, with parking 10 to 24 hours for $28 and monthly rates at $300. There’s a waitlist for monthly parking, Soper said.

As an interim boost, the city approved the port using some of the lot for Ivar’s customers, Soper said.

According to the port’s permit application documents, the lot will have 63 stalls for hourly and overnight visitors, 23 stalls for monthly parking and 13 stalls reserved for waterfront employees. The traffic survey estimates a daily average of 383 trips at the lot.

It could lead to more or fewer peak afternoon trips, depending on how the stalls are used. If some are capped at 4 hours, similar to the limit at nearby public parking, the port’s consultant wrote that it would “most likely” be used by visitors to the existing destinations on the waterfront and shouldn’t count as new trips.

New trip generation is an important metric because it could count toward the port paying a traffic mitigation fee of $1,875 for each new trip.

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