Latest Marina Beach Draft Master Plan open house: Willow Creek will flow, dog park will stay

More than 100 people attended the second Marina Beach open house Wednesday night.
Chris Jones, consultant for the Marina Beach Park Master Plan, addresses an overflow crowd in the Edmonds Library Plaza Room at the second of three open house meetings to solicit public input on the plan.

More than 100 citizens gathered on Wednesday evening for the second of three public meetings to discuss and help shape the future of Marina Beach Park, including the critical question of how and where to daylight Willow Creek.

Carrie Hite, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, welcomed the group. “While we are looking at an array of improvements to Marina Beach Park, our big goal is to daylight Willow Creek and make it salmon-friendly again,” she said. “People love Marina Beach as it is today, so we want to keep all that, but add even more. And the centerpiece will be a free-flowing creek that supports salmon.”

At the previous public meeting March 4, the consultants from Walker-Macy, responsible for the Marina Beach Master Plan, and Shannon&Wilson, in charge of the Willow Creek daylighting study, presented two options, one of which would have routed Willow Creek through the main park, the other through the off-leash dog park.

At that March 4 meeting, the consultants received considerable input including the need to maintain or expand parking, to upgrade the restroom facilities by replacing the porta-potties with brick-and-mortar restrooms, to provide more habitat and educational opportunities, and to maintain the present mix of beach views, picnic tables, seating, play structures and other recreational amenities. Interested citizen unable to attend were able to provide input to the consultants via an online town hall, which provided the opportunity to address the same issues. One issue that raised considerable concern and differences of opinion was the presence of the off-leash dog park, dog-human conflicts, and the impact of dogs on the environment.

On Wednesday night, the consultants came back with two modified alternatives embodying the input received at the last meeting and from the online town hall. Supporters of the dog park broke out in spontaneous applause upon learning that based on a combination of citizen input, hydrologic issues and environmental concerns, neither of the current options calls for routing the creek through the dog park.

Option 1 design
This configuration features all parking along the north edge of the park, an automobile turn-around, a centralized playground, and a restroom building near the turn-around.
Option 2 design
This configuration features a longer creek with additional streamside buffer areas, a playground in the north end of the park, and a separate lawn and overlook area on the south side of the park.

With this issue off the table, the audience divided into seven breakout groups to examine the two options and provide input on which overall design best meets the needs of park users, which alignment of Willow Creek would best fit with the park and meet environmental concerns, and what additional amenities/changes they would like to see.

Chris Jones of Walker-Macy works with one of the breakout groups.
Chris Jones of Walker-Macy works with one of the breakout groups.

While both Options 1 and 2 would have Willow Creek flow through the main park and maintain the existing beach and driftwood areas, the placement of amenities including paved pathways, restrooms and play structures would vary, as would the alignment of the creek and the design of the parking area (both options provide equivalent numbers of parking stalls). Option 1 would include an automobile turn-around that would sacrifice some park space, while Option 2 would offer a longer creek, a larger streamside buffer area, and two lawn areas, one on either side of the creek.

Tia Scarce of Edmonds, spokesperson for her breakout group, details the group's findings and recommendations.
Tia Scarce of Edmonds, spokesperson for her breakout group, details the group’s findings and recommendations.

At the close of the breakout session, the groups reported back with their findings and input. While there was no overwhelming preference for either option 1 or 2, there were differences of opinion on the automobile turnaround, restroom placement and other fine points of design, with one group requesting that the parking plan include spaces for motorcycles.

Once again, interested persons unable to attend last night’s open house have the opportunity to comment by logging in to the Marina Beach Master Plan Online Open House.

Next steps in the process include review by the Planning Board and City Council scheduled for May 13 and 19, respectively. The consultants will fold the results of these reviews in with the public comments received at the two open house meetings, and will submit a draft master plan in late June for Planning Board and Council consideration. This will be followed by a public comment period to include a third and final open house on July 8. Adoption of the final Master Plan is expected toward the end of this year.

 — Story and photos by Larry Vogel


14 Replies to “Latest Marina Beach Draft Master Plan open house: Willow Creek will flow, dog park will stay”

  1. Science has not changed….Dog Waste THREAT to water, fish and Environment…..not sure how this has been missed regarding bringing back the salmon……..Dog waste is a particularly large threat to sea living organisms and many articles and scientific papers written regarding this

    We have a dog and have enjoyed the dog park in Seattle and Edmonds on the waterfront and was surprised to see that this is a very large threat to sea living organisms, dog waste……Then, I cant imagine with the threat of toxic or dead organisms why this would be allowed. Perhaps this is some of the reason our waters are toxic in Puget Sound

    Interesting the “breakout groups”…….Just like the Sunset Project…….The city divides and conquers…….In the end, the the government always prevails…….History repeats itself……We’ve seen this before…….


    1. Tere, you must not have been at either of the open houses. Because if you were there, you would understand that the Marina Beach process has been about as open and transparent as it can be. Much unlike the Sunset process, in my opinion.


  2. Tere – i tried your link – twice, and both times got:

    OH, SNAP!
    The Page you requested cannot be displayed.
    This page may have moved or no longer exists. You can search
    for the page you were looking for or go back to USA TODAY home

    also, i learned several decades ago, laws are worthless! period!

    the only thing that matters is the ability to enforce! for all practical purposes, THAT is the law!

    also – if you were there last evening, you are aware of the dog lobby, and they vote!

    Cliff – so why didn’t you bring it up?.


  3. Tere, I also found the link not working. The breakout groups work very well everybody gets a say. Why dont you do a search of the process the dog park used to get permitted and any environmental reviews that were done. There are many people who ask the same questions . Victor I also picked up on the dog lobby


  4. If the dog doo is picked up (almost always) at the dog park. I don’t see this as a real issue. We have three dogs. Have been to the park many times. Have picked up all of our dogs poo and a few missed by others. Your more likely to find it in town then in the park.

    I am not arguing whether it is a problem for Puget Sound, just don’t see it as one in the dog park.


  5. Fantastic! The creek is open! Nice progression of the public process!

    By the way, the aluminum foil hats are still for sale! Don’t let the man steal your soul!


  6. Before millions are spent, more research should be done on how many salmon the small marsh is expected to support. It should be noted that once this plan is put into place the railroad trench cannot be built. Both plans leave less open space for families, less lawn area, and the same parking issues.


    1. I believe that research is currently being done by Shannon & Wilson. Maybe a little less lawn area, but the creek will be a great addition for families to enjoy. Pretty sure there will be the same amount of parking, just reconfigured. The turnaround should help.


    2. How does this project stop the trench? Doesn’t there need to be an avenue for Shellabarger and Willow creeks to exit to the Sound whatever plan is adopted for the railroad? The daylighting begins past the railroad, the existing culvert for the flow of these creeks is currently under the railroad.


  7.  Many years ago the Environmental Protection Agency stated that dog feces and urine was as toxic as chemicals and at one point categorized it in the category of ” OIL and TOXIC CHEMICALS” We can now assume it is worse with all the new chemical and drug therapies of vets for medication and new therapy used by vets for sick dogs with disease or ailments. ThE U.S. Center for Disease Controls says tha the feces can contain hook worms, salmonella, ring worms, E coli, tape worms and even after being scooped up, the parasitic eggs can lay there years, which an cause severe infections or investasions if touched, walked on,etc. At the beac h by the dog park children play

    Sooooooooooo, to make a long story short, even when scooped up the parasitic eggs can still be there for years…….and I have no idea how one would clean up the urine…..

    Perhaps one of the reasons our waters have become polluted and toxic……….and then theres the fish and living organisms in our sea…….

    I have used dog parks for many years on Lake Washington and now in Edmonds and I beleive most people not aware of this as I wasnt……….Just some food for thought

    “two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil.

    3. You may not live near water, but unscooped poop from your yard is carried by overland water flow or is washed into storm drains, ending up in far away streams, rivers and ground water. 

    4. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella. When infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the poop will eventually “disappear”, but the parasite eggs can linger for years! When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs … even years after the poop is gone.

    5. Pet waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea in humans. (There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!) 

    6. Dog poop often contains roundworm larvae, which cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. So when people (especially children) touch soil, dog toys or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths, they can become infected. 

    Dog poop doesn’t just “wash away” or disappear. So if you’re not disposing of your dog’s waste, you’re putting yourself, your family, your dog and your water supply at risk.”……excerpted from dog talk 101

    just the facts folks

    Have an Edmonds Kind of Day…………


  8. apparent E Coli outbreak at Whatcom County Fair ….Todays news, Seattle Times, front page….45 sent to hospital…..May 8th


  9. I am upset that they are considering moving the play areas to the darkest parts of the park – behind the hills – the current placement is perfect and enjoyed by many families who want to enjoy the park, play ground and beach many who want to do this all at the same time – this design unfriendly to families


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