Skippers property back on Council agenda Tuesday night

The Edmonds City Council will continue discussing at its April 27 meeting the next steps for the vacant Skippers restaurant across from the Edmonds ferry terminal. The Council voted 5-2 during its April 14 meeting to purchase the property for $1.1 million pending the outcome of an appraisal and feasibility studies.

Tuesday night’s meeting will be devoted to discussing “due diligence” related to the purchase. The agenda also includes a report from City Parks and Recreation Department staff — — requested by City Council President Steve Bernheim — regarding possible grant money that could be acquired if a decision were made to develop the .37-acre parcel into parkland. The complete agenda is here.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Council Chambers, Public Safety Building, 250 5th Ave. N.

Share your opinion about the council’s decision to purchase the Skippers property here.

  1. I’ll be out of town on Tuesday, but here’s what I submitted:

    Dear Council Members;

    Thank you for the opportunity for public comment on the recent proposal to purchase the Skippers property. Based on several discussions that I’ve had with many of you, as well as public comments, I think I understand the thought process that led you to propose purchasing the Skippers property. I understand, but I respectfully disagree.

    There are many ways to beautify and improve our City. I understand that this property is of great importance, not only in itself, but due to its proximity to the other Waterfront Activity Center area properties that are currently in flux. If the City owns that little corner, perhaps they’ll get a seat at the table when the other property owners make their plans for what to do along the railroad tracks. I propose that you will always have a seat at the table.

    Development of the 1/3 acre as a park is not practical. Size is too small. Location is loud, surrounded by traffic, and the land has been industrial for so long that it will be a challenge to convert it to an outdoor green setting. A long term project plan with a life-cycle costs analysis could be sketched out readily to determine the feasibility, but I think you’ll agree that the costs would be high. Too high.

    A Visitor’s Center is an interesting idea, but we already have one. Again, please consider the end-to-end cost of this, and the net gain. Most people coming to visit Edmonds do not come from the ferry, but from 99. I propose improving our Visitor Center by improving the signage to direct people there for assistance.

    There were a few other ideas sketched out, but they fall quickly to the same analysis results – achieving the minimal impacts envisioned is not worth the cost.

    So, what are we to do? Sit on our hands? NO! Here’s what I would recommend:

    – Determine how much money the Council has to invest in a project. Money that is available NOW, without going back to the voters.
    – Inform the EEDC (Edmonds Economic Development Commission) of this, and ask them for some project proposals that they think would fall within your cost goal.
    – Review the ideas that come from the EEDC, and/or other groups, as you see fit.
    – Go forward with one (or more, if costs permit). Try to get the biggest economic improvement bang for your buck. I don’t believe that this property purchase is the best use of our money, and once you spend what little money you have, none of these other projects will be able to be done. That’s why I was speaking of “Opportunity Cost” at the 4/20 Council meeting.

    These are incredibly challenging times for citizens and businesses. Please keep that in mind as you make decisions that are this fiscally significant. Sudden million dollar moves are perceived as a lack of respect for the citizens and businesses: this is not bold, it’s reckless.

    Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing that you have terminated due diligence proceedings in order to not “throw good money after bad.”


    Todd Cloutier

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