Skate park, playgrounds coming to Cavelero Hill

LAKE STEVENS — The city and county have big changes in mind for the open fields and fenced dog park on Cavelero Hill.

A draft master plan for the 33-acre community park includes a covered skate park and basketball court, an indoor BMX facility, volleyball courts, playgrounds and several commercial buildings. There also would be plazas, picnic shelters, parking lots and expanded off-leash dog areas.

Cavelero Hill is a county-owned park within Lake Stevens city boundaries, so the two governments have teamed up to plan for its future. Located at the corner of 20th Street and 79th Avenue SE, just off the U.S. 2 trestle east of Everett, it’s in one of Lake Stevens’ fastest growing neighborhoods.

Plans for a skate park have been in the works for more than a year, and the site has a popular fenced off-leash dog area. Cavelero Hill is the largest park in Lake Stevens, city planning director Becky Ableman said. Some of the acreage is protected wetlands, but most remains open space.

The park’s development isn’t keeping up with a growing demand for recreation in the southwest corner of Lake Stevens, city and county officials say. In summer 2014, a planning committee made up of representatives from the city and county councils, city and county park boards, Lake Steven School District and the neighborhood around the park started working on a new master plan. The park’s original master plan is 12 years old.

Two open meetings, each with at least 60 guests, generated ideas that the committee whittled down into a final plan, Ableman said.

“We heard mostly about the skate park, the dog park and quite a few people from the BMX community,” she said. “The nice thing about this plan is some of those features are covered, so when it’s raining we hope that will extend the use of the park.”

The committee submitted a letter of recommendation to the city council on Jan. 12, and the council voted to forward the plan on to the county for final approval. That process likely will take at least six months, county parks director Tom Teigen said.

“We want to figure out how to phase this in so we can start seeing progress,” Ableman said. Planners also need to determine how much the project could cost and what funds may be available.

A first phase could total about $600,000 and include a playground, skate park and updated off-leash dog area, Teigen said. Details for later steps, like the BMX facility, still need to be vetted by the county.

“We feel like this is definitely a plan that’s in draft form but heavily supported,” he said. “As far as an early document, it’s great. But we also know there’s a lot more conversations and a lot more chances for people to get involved.”

A master plan looks ahead up to 20 years, so some of the park’s new features might not come into play for a decade or more, Teigen said.

The skate park is one of the community’s priorities, as are playgrounds and the dog park, according to a letter from Jim Kelley, chair of the Cavelero Park Joint Planning Committee. Other features could be built as money becomes available.

Planners also eventually hope to extend 24th Street SE until it connects with 83rd Avenue SE near Cavelero Mid High School. There would be three new parking lots around the park and a paved trail circling the property.

Cavelero Hill could be used for large events, including BMX or skating competitions, Kelley wrote.

The new master plan also outlines three commercial buildings between the park and 20th Street SE. The uses could fit with the park, such as shops for sandwiches or bicycling and skating gear. Revenue from leasing the commercial space could be funneled back into park maintenance.

“It’s an interesting way to continue to fund parks without putting any additional burden on taxpayers,” Teigen said.

All of the ideas brainstormed by the community and drafted by the city will be reviewed in depth by the county, he said.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity,” he said. “There’s also a lot of work to do.”

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

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