The Monroe City Council approved master plans for Lake Tye Park and the Cadman future park site.

The unanimous decision was made about half a year after efforts began. Community involvement and transparency were touted by city officials and staff as exceptional during the process. 

“There was a high participation rate, and well above what is normal for these types of things,” said Monroe Parks and Recreation director Mike Farrell.

The next step is to formally adopt the standalone documents into Monroe’s 2015-2035 Comprehensive Plan for the 2019 cycle. Farrell said the costs of completing the proposed projects will run the city near $52 million, and will be phased in over a period of about two decades. The city will also pursue grants to cover the cost, he said.

“Costs for a specific fiscal year would be scaled down accordingly and addressed as part of that year’s budget process,” according to council documents. 

Farrell recently met with Cadman Inc. staff to discuss reclaiming the land. The Redmond-based company prepared a master plan for the property in 1998. Once mining was complete, about 140-acres of property would be given back to the city, as was the terms of their use permit.

Farrell said it is likely the transfer will take place sometime in 2019-2020. He said the council will be updated as the timeline is fleshed out.

Creating the two master plans was scheduled to cost no more than $130,000, and the expense was included in the 2017 budget. The money was taken from the parks capital improvement project fund, the revenue of which is generated through the Real Estate Excise Tax.

The Cadman site is essentially a blank slate for Monroe, according to Farrell. The last time the city adopted a new facility was about eight years ago. Monroe Rotary Park opened after the Monroe Rotary Club led fundraising efforts to pay for the ADA-accessible, all-weather youth baseball fields.

Increased use, the popularity of new activities, such as paddle boarding, the amount of regional events being hosted at the site and a growing list of potential renovations prompted the city to start the master planning process for the 64-acre Lake Tye Park last fall.

The public gave input on a range of viewpoints that were later incorporated into the master plans. Safety, tourism, family-friendly parks, prioritizing the environment and emphasizing water-related activities were among the many suggestions.

Some concepts were aligned with regional efforts the city is already involved in. Sky to Sound Water Trail projects have been included in the Cadman master plan. The same is true for Lake Tye Park and development of Centennial Trail, which will eventually extend from Snohomish to Monroe and Monroe to Duvall.

“This is the good first step we need to take,” said Councilmember Jeff Rasmussen.

He said the level of community engagement he saw throughout the process was very impressive. The city was also on top of making sure people knew what was going on and when.

Seattle-based HBB Landscape Architecture was hired to head the concurrent projects. The company built outlines based on public comments received at open houses, during popup studios and through surveys conducted this fall.

The Monroe City Council and Monroe Parks and Recreation Board had two joint meetings to discuss the direction of master planning during the process. They worked together to revise a draft in December.

The parks board reviewed and moved the city council approve the Monroe Parks Masterplans Executive Summary on Feb. 1, Farrell said. After many months, addressing and readdressing feedback, it was finally there in front of them, he said.