Reader view: Taste Edmonds doesn’t belong at Esperance Park

We are a group of concerned citizens that live in unincorporated Snohomish County neighborhood of Esperance. We are writing to express concerns about our beloved neighborhood Esperance Park being potentially destroyed by Taste Edmonds being held at this location.

The citizens of Esperance were never notified or included in any of the planning or discussion. How does this happen? Shame on the decision makers who are supposed to be representing us, the taxpayers.

The Chamber of Commerce should have no right to force this upon our neighborhood to reap all the rewards and leave us with the mess.

Who gets the profits from this event?

Who hires and pays for the police to patrol and protect our neighborhood?

Who is responsible to repair the damages? City of Edmonds has well-documented occurrences of vandalism, public defecation, break-ins, trash, driveways being blocked and safety concerns.

All of this while the Snohomish County Sheriff is already overburdened and short staffed.

We are especially concerned about a laser light show that we hear is planned inside the mature growth forest that houses owls, hawks and osprey. This must be canceled.

We ask that the Taste of Edmonds not be held here now or every.

We have voted several times to not be annexed into Edmonds and we are not part of the City of Edmonds and Edmonds event does not belong in a county neighborhood park.

Why not have it at the high school that has parking with the facilities to accommodate such a large event (ie: like graduations and team sports).

Edmonds-Woodway High School is actually within the city limits of Edmonds.

By Roy NcCorchuck
On behalf of citizens of the unincorporated Snohomish County neighborhood of Esperance

Author Roy NcCorchuck lives in Esperance.

  1. We are so mad that this event is happening in our neighborhood and we we’re not even included in the say, plus we’re part of the county not Edmonds! We say it needs to go somewhere else!! The park will be destroyed! What will happen to the off leash areas? The forest area thst has been here a long time?

    1. While I am interested in learning .one about the decision process here, I have to say getting a flier from the “Citizens of Unincorporated Snohomish County neighborhood of Esperance” with no names or contact information for the group behind it was extremely off-putting.

      You don’t speak for me and this labeling implies a broad group that may or may not exist. If folks are for it or against it, put your names on it.

      1. I feel the chambers of Edmond should asked the people of Esperance if it was OK to hold their taste of Edmonds in our park. That doesn’t allow alcohol on the premises. The taste of Edmonds
        is nothing but a big party, and a bunch of drunks, the mess that is left behind garbage, crime, theft, and parking. I feel that the people that live down in Edmonds think they are entitled and they can do whatever they want without any consequences. We have voted several times that the people of Esperance doesn’t want to be annexed into Edmonds where this should be held not at Esperance park. If you don’t have the space for it anymore, then maybe this is something you need to think about canceling. Not shoving it in somebody else’s face and putting the mess and all the debris in their area. Overtime things change.
        Wow you’re going to ruin the forrest right across the street from me that just makes me sick to my stomach. I pay good money to live in this area, and I feel that we should have a voice and how we feel.

        1. I 1000% agree! No one asked us! What about the fact that the park, that finally in the last couple of years has been fixed up & is now a wonderful welcoming dog & family park.. will be ripped up & The Chamber doesn’t care! Esperience is NOT Edmonds…take this taste back to Edmonds proper!

  2. You are quite correct. The citizens of Esperance are not included in decision-making that effects your community. You are represented only by county government, which candidly does not care about unincorporated pockets like Esperance (how long does it take for the Sheriff to show up in an emergency?)

    There are great people in Esperance (I know a few) and your community would be warmly welcomed if it were annexed into the City of Edmonds. Better representation in local decision-making AND a significantly lower property tax bill~ what’s not to like?

    1. Well, comments like this are not to like. Esperance has said no to annexation many times. The condescension in “there are great people in Esperance, I know a few)” is “not to like”. Why the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce is attempting to hold this event outside Edmonds and foist it onto Esperance is the real question. Edmonds just spent an inordinate amount of money on Civic field touting it as a place for such events and now? What is going on? Local control is the current buzz word. Esperance just said no. Respect it and move on. Edmonds folks…why isn’t this Edmonds event slated to be held in Edmonds?

      1. I know! Let’s have it in Spokane! There are great people there, too! (I know a few – and “some of my best friends are…”)

        It seems that the whole thing is being foisted off on a community that doesn’t want it and had no role in the decision. Maybe the organizers should just invade Esperance and take it over to “protect” it?

        1. Love it in Spokane! There are many people from Edmonds living there that I know. Good one!

        2. A hostile take over of Esperance? I think Mayor Haakenson suggested something like that for Woodway and got shot down for his troubles. Edmonds is starting to need someone like the late Emmet Watson and “Lessor Seattle.” I happily volunteer for that role. Pretty soon Edmonds is going to look more like Hong Kong than a sleepy little fishing and art center village by the sea.

    2. It may not be the biggest, best deal for the citizens in Edmonds to annex Esperance no matter how great a people they are there. Esperance has been neglected by the county for years with streets that mostly lack sidewalks and parks that have been neglected. Additional costs for sewer, water, parks and services like Police or social services might likely would turn into negative cash flow for the city of Edmonds.

    3. As someone who was annexed into Edmonds during the last annexation ~1996 I can assure you that nothing changed. No new city parks or services, my property tax bill did not go down much at all (but I did start paying city taxes), and the police take an hour to show up for prowlers in my neighborhood (if they even show up at all). City Council only seems to care about the Bowl, and since council members are elected at-large there really is no direct representation for my little part of Edmonds. Esperance is quite right to be skeptical about annexation.

      1. Ms. Schuld,

        I would be happy to talk to you about our response when you called for assistance. Please feel free to contact me at 425-275-4615.

  3. We are two Edmonds residents who were very surprised by the announcement that the Taste of Edmonds would occur at the very special park in Esperance. We are in agreement with posters herein that the event absolutely does not belong at the park:

    There will be damage.
    There is no parking for such a crowd.
    Such a crowd bearing down on the park is disrespectful to the neighbors, families and dogs and their owners who use the park.
    The concern for the forest is real given the numbers of people who would attend.
    And as pointed out, there are Much better locations within the Edmonds city limits. The high school on 76th seems better than the previous location.

    The original intent of the Taste was to bring business to downtown Edmonds. By moving to Esperance that intent would not be served.

    Is there a petition one could sign?

    Longtime residents

  4. We don’t want this event back at Frances Anderson Center! These comments are a bit shortsided with consideration to other Edmonds residential communities. The Frances Anderson Center and the residential neighborhood, for years has had to endure several large events (at least 4) a year, the parks are owned by the city, so they to do as they please. Our neighborhood is never included in the decision making that effects our community surrounding Frances Anderson Center. I agree it is very disturbing and upsetting to feel overrun by the city, although you cannot expect only one neighborhood to shoulder all of the brunt. Our neighborhood is already overrun with several events at the Frances Anderson Center!! The city needs to spread out the events and not expect the Frances Anderson Center and it’s surrounding residents to shoulder it all, that is unfair. Please consider other residential neighborhoods and what they have had to tolerate for years and continue to have to tolerate. Consider yourself fortunate that you only have one event assigned to your area!

    1. Esperance (and Esperance Park) is not in the City of Edmonds. The neighborhood was not even included in the decision-making, nor was there any attempt to get feedback from the neighborhood, as far as I am aware. Not to mention the Esperance community probably won’t see any of the proceeds from the Taste, since it is a money-raiser for the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce; and to expect the County to deal with the logistics and repair of the park for a City event seems wrong.
      I understand wanting to hold it in a different venue, however there are other parks or locations within the city that could be considered.
      Or maybe it’s time to re-imagine the whole Taste event itself, since it is so far removed from its original iteration at this point.

      1. I agree wholeheartedly with this idea. ‘The Taste’ only has a couple of local eateries even represented. The majority of the food is from other places so this is not even about Edmonds anymore. It is very disruptive to the Residents as well. It is really just a bunch of food trucks. If they are going to insist on this event, put it in the stupid ‘play field’ they just dumped (and keep dumping) money into or even better, where it seems everyone except the planners want it… the high school. That space is actually designed to handle just such an event.

    2. Totally agree Nancy ! Taste of Edmonds does not belong at Frances Anderson center . Already too many festivals at Francis Anderson!

    3. Give the organizers a chance to work out the logistics of this year’s event.

      Excerpt from a recent article on here —
      Having Taste Edmonds return to the renovated Civic Park isn’t an option because the event is a major fundraiser for the chamber. “We were told by the city that events requiring paid admission wouldn’t be permitted at Civic,” Crowther said.”

  5. The Edmonds-Woodway high school is a great suggestion. Big fields. Lots of Parking. Restrooms. Less residences in close proximity.

  6. It sounds like the people of Esperance don’t want Esperance to become a “Carnival Town”. Smart people! How about a summer weekend for the Edmonds taxpayers, now and then?

  7. Wht not the waterfront?? For years, the Waterfront Festival showed that there is a lot of room for large events. Parking doesn’t disrupt neighborhoods down there, and with all the existing blacktop, park lawns and habitat are not destroyed.

  8. The high school seems like an excellent option. Anyone know a reason this could not be a consideration?

    Esperance Park is lovely – delicate, small, home to many birds, used respectfully from all I’ve seen there and not an open field for a huge party.

    1. I think maybe the reason the high school is not the location has to do with alcohol. I have no definitive proof of this but I believe beer, wine and spirits are not allowed on school grounds under any circumstances. It is possible that the state liquor board may allow it but my first and second thoughts are they would not.

      As the former treasurer of the chamber, in my days on the board, I learned that each year, roughly ALL the profits from the taste came from the beer garden which each year is one of the largest in the state – rivals Seafair even!

      That profit in turn would fund many of the chamber’s events presented in the city each year.

  9. It would seem that the high school grounds at this point would be the logical and appropriate space for this event!
    I live near the park and there is no parking, there are no facilities, and it is a dog park for locals, four legged and biped, as well as a splendid bit of woods.

  10. All I want to say is…the monies serve many non profit organizations in Edmonds. These hard times that money is needed more than ever. Maybe school parking lots? Why not Francis Anderson? It’s been there for years, they need the monies…then get a group of people together for the future to look at possibility of moving the location at a affordable location.

  11. There are few, if any, parking spaces available on the streets around Esperance Park. There are no sidewalks for anyone to safely travel. There is no easy access for vendors, workers, performers, and their gear to enter and exit the park.

    I feel a better solution might be for the City of Edmonds to work with the Edmonds School District to rotate Taste Edmonds around any of the district’s schools that have sufficient parking and access to handle the vehicular and pedestrian traffic involved..

  12. Revenue is used to fund things like the Fourth of July Fireworks and the Edmonds Classic Car show. I would respectfully ask Esperance citizens if they partake of and enjoy these events? We live one block from FAC and two blocks from the Civic Field Park. I guarantee all Esperance folks we have many, many non-Edmonds citizens roaming in and out of our neighborhood during all the various festivals. Last year a guy cussed me out when I politely asked him to not park in front of my mailbox; but use the spaces I had marked out for them to use in our yard. (Most of our visitors are quite nice however). Forgive me Espereance, but “I don’t necessarily feel your pain on this” Personally the only things I look forward to every year are the Art Festival and the Car Show. The Taste, I can take or leave. Plenty of good food downtown and in some of the neighborhoods – often better than the Taste.

  13. Are Esperance residents putting up signs along the road at Esperance Park to let people know what could happen? Has anyone visited with Rock of Hope and Edmonds UU churches to see how they feel about all the people that will try to park in their lots?
    I can also imagine people trying to part at the Boo Han and even Safeway lots, since they are not that far away. Has anyone asked how they are going to react with a bunch of non-customers using their spaces all day?
    Have any Esperance neighbors gone to the County to see what their plans are for providing fire + police + emergency and clean up for this event?

  14. This park and the surrounding area doesn’t have the parking or infrastructure to accommodate such a large event as The Taste of Edmonds. It barely has the parking to accommodate the soccer and baseball practices that take place. The planning of this activity at this location and the lack of notice to the Esperance community is grossly disappointing.

  15. I have contacted the parks department to see if they have issued a permit. No one returned my call.
    I also contacted the Chambers and again no one would talk to me about, and forwarded my call to leave a message, and again no one called back.
    I recently was at the Westgate Science Night and the Audubon society was there. They said laser lights would not be good for any bird.
    I believe the Taste of Edmonds is not the family event it once was. Now they charge $40 entrance fee and you have to be over 21 years old, serving only Budweiser. 3 food trucks, is not what the Taste is about. Someone has lost sight of the meaning of the Taste of Edmonds.
    There are safety issues on many levels and one is the retention pond.
    Who will police the area, is the Chambers responsible or the Edmonds Police since it will be a city function within the county park. The Chambers will have to clean the park from dog droppings before people can walk safely around.

  16. Wow. Well I will say I like the Arts Festival much better. I did attend the taste. I found it better at Anderson as the other spot was so dusty and dirty and not much food to choose from either. SO maybe it isn’t a good idea if it is so expensive for many. I suppose most who are going for liquor will go elsewhere anyway. BUT they could maybe do it at 5 corners with food trucks? The school and alcohol on school grounds?? I don’t think so. But the school is near the 5 corners somewhat retail little area they could maybe us some parking at the school and check with one of those complexes Park something off of 212TH. They would have to rope of a section at 5 corners if alcohol??

  17. Wow am I sick of reading these comments. Let’s be clear, the Chamber uses this event as a fundraiser for the Fourth of July parade/fireworks, the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Halloween street party, and the Classic Car Show (and ya, the good folks of Esperance get to enjoy ALL of that too). From it they also donate $$$ to local service groups, and to the Boys and Girls Club. NONE OF THIS happens without the Taste. They went to the county to ask for the park in Esperance so that they could have the room to accommodate lots more food trucks, lots more curated vendors, and the FREE kids zone, all of which the FAC doesn’t have any room for. They cannot go back to Civic Park due to city restrictions, they cannot use a school district property because of alcohol (this should be obvious …), and they can’t use the Port of Edmonds property due to the insurance costs.
    The Chamber is actually trying hard to give us a revamped event to be pleased with, but the griping here is both toxic and unwarranted.

    1. I agree the Chamber contributes greatly to our community in a variety of ways. I appreciate that.

      One thing I think should be cleared up is: Are there city restrictions preventing a return to Civic Park?

      I’ve been told by the Chamber that state funding/grants that partially paid for the park are what prohibits Civic Park from being used for ‘paid entry’ events.

      Did City Council know this when Council approved applying for such funding/grants?

      Did City Council know this just over 2 months ago?

      The following is found on Packet Page 729 for the December 20, 2022 Council Meeting, a discussion related to the 2022 PROS Plan:

      Will the permitting be different for events that will be allowed at Civic Park when it is completed?
      o Civic Park was designed in conjunction with several large festival producers; things like fireworks
      show and Taste of Edmonds. The park has been designed to accommodate larger festivals, and the
      expectation is that they will return to Civic Park.

      1. Ken, Thanks for the reference in the Dec 2022 council meeting packet. Are you quoting the meeting minutes from a community meeting held in Oct 2021? There are lots of documents related to the PROS plan in that packet and I’m not quite sure when the statement ‘and the expectation is that they will return’ was made.

        1. Thanks for asking Theresa. The short answer is yes, the comments about the design supporting larger festivals and the expectation of return to Civic Park were from an October 2021 Community Meeting. I don’t see any discussion of when the return will take place.

          On December 20, 2022, City Staff asked City Council to adopt the 2022 Comprehensive Plan Amendments, of which there were two:

          1) The updated 2022 Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan
          2) The updated Capital Facilities Plans (CFP)

          The Council did so by voting unanimously to adopt Ordinance 4288 on December 20, 2022.

          The statement about the Taste of Edmonds returning to Civic Park was made during an October 16, 2021 Community meeting and that statement lives in Ordinance 4288 which was adopted December 20, 2022. It can be found on the 210th page of that 296 page long Ordinance.

          I hope this helps.

      2. The Snohomish County Esperance Park received an RCO grant for over $500K when it purchased the school property of 3.4 acres. So if the Civic center cannot have the event, due to the nature of the grant, what makes them think they can have it at the county park.

    2. Paul to be exact, the ESD #15 policy states; “To ensure that district facilities meet federal Drug-Free workplace requirements, the sale or consumption of alcohol or other controlled substances is prohibited on school properties during community use of school facilities.”

      The Civic Center Playfield was ESD #15 property until the City purchase in 2015. This ESD #15 policy didn’t prevent the city from permitting an alcohol serving Event for many years on school property. Typical local government rules don’t apply to them. Rules are selectively enforced based on who you are. They can break the law without consequence. Just act stupid.

      1. Sad to say, Finis, there has been plenty of that over time in our fair little city and everywhere else on the planet. “Special people” and “special places” for which the rules for everyone else don’t apply are the root cause of virtually all of our human problems. It’s easy to say, ” no man is above the law,” but, almost impossible to live it in the real world. Our various government Constitutions are an attempt, at least, to provide some degree of equality and justice, but the fight for that is never over and never sure.

  18. Esperance Park has the dog parks, little parking, a retention pond, birds and animals in the woods.. and is small! All this will be destroyed by people trampling all over & not caring! Who will clean up & restore to original condition? No one asked any of the residents of Esperance what they wanted or thought! We’re not Edmonds we’re county! And why not use the water front.. Edmonds has to obviously pay insurance for the water front festival.. why not for the taste that belongs in Edmonds?

  19. Maybe the Chamber aught to just cancel the Taste program and take another approach? Calculate the cost as close as possible for each of these other events to come up with a combined total amount. In January, publicly post this amount needed for all the coming events and start a go fund me and any other donation or raffle programs you can come up with to help raise the money. Money available could be reported routinely in MEN and other publications. If the money is available for the next coming event; the event happens; if not, it’s cancelled; and what money there is goes toward the next event. This should save at least one or more of the more valued events and stop the argument over whether the Taste is good or not and fighting over where it should be. Personally I’m tired of “special” places like Esperance and Woodway wanting to enjoy all the good things about Edmonds City while avoiding the annoying and difficult things we have to deal with to be whatever we are trying to be.

    1. I was thinking about what Clint says last night. I am surprised too at all the disagreement about where etc. I will say again NOT at the HS. For safety and reasons mentioned above. However I do like Clints idea for the Chamber. I didn’t realize that so much came from the TASTE to do the other events in Edmonds. I expect maybe many don’t realize how important this money is. SO I will happily donate 80$ to the chamber. That would cover my husband and I. We probably wouldn’t attend even if it is held but I think many here would donate 40$ to this cause for our Chamber. Just arrange for a trolley up and down the hill for the events like the tree lighting etc. Start with a fund but let us send you a personal check. I don’t like putting my cc into a computer. But I would like to help. Pony up folks! I hope you all do. Let us know Chamber right here in MEN would be terrific. An address or a phone number to call and give a CC number. Either one I will do this week if you want. Deb.

      1. For example, each Chamber member restaurant, or any restaurant for that matter, could sponsor a weekly or monthly $1.00 a ticket raffle for a $100/Dinner for two. After a good dinner and a couple drinks lots of folks will probably opt to throw a dollar or two in the kitty for the chance of an essentially free meal after the one they just enjoyed. If I’m a good Edmond’s citizen and win the dinner, I can always call the manager and tell him/her to just throw whatever our meal would cost them in the Chamber festival fund. Guess what, this program could even be named the “Taste of Edmonds”, just like the old one.

        1. I love this too. I was thinking about this too. To involve the restaurants in some way. Get out of my head Clint hahaha. If everyone who has a drink in Edmonds gives to the establishment the cost for an extra drink and that is then given to the Chambers fund that will cover the loss of Beer and Wine revenue. So the pay it forward fund and the above ought to give the Chamber plenty of money for the other mentioned events. I suggest we get this going Chamber right away. I am anxious to write a check to you. And ya know what I have never even been to the 4th or the Tree lighting in the Bowl due to parking issues. I (sorry) before Covid went to Seattle for the 4th and the Tree lighting. Lots of parking there then. BUT I still want to help my little city and no longer go to Seattle for those events.

  20. So development closed down Civic Park as a large-scale fundraising venue? Kind of bites those decision makers in the wallet, now.

  21. How does the City of Edmonds have the right to bring the Taste of Edmonds to a small unincorporated Snohomish County Neighborhood Park? Just the traffic issues alone are a reason not to have it there.
    Limited Parking.
    No Sidewalks.
    Handicap Parking doesn’t exist.
    Aurora, 76th, 220th and All the side streets WILL BE A MESS, BOTH WAYS. How will anyone be able to get out of their driveways?
    How upset will Winco and Ranch 99 be when their parking lots are full of non paying customers to their businesses?
    This is NOT the appropriate venue and I would encourage you to respond to the listed email representatives voice your opinions to them.

  22. Snohomish County Park Director.
    Snohomish County Executive
    Dave.Somer@ co.snohomish
    Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Director

  23. Moving the Taste to Esperance Park seems like a bully move by the city of Edmonds. Imagine being told by Seattle that Hempfest was going to be held at Edmonds City Park and having no say in the matter. Esperance Park has always been free and has a no alcohol policy, waiving these might create legal and liability issues that could prove costly to the city and set unpleasant precedents in the future.

  24. Taste Edmonds has been removed from my “must do” list 5 years ago. I suport Edmonds restaurants by eating at them in person. Esperance Park choice is a desecration.

  25. For clarification here is a direct quote from a Snohomish County Park Department Handbook official publication “Alcohol is strictly prohibited within Snohomish County Parks.” Also, Edmonds School Disrtrict Board Policy specifically prohibits alcohol from community events on school districy propery. Could the chamber and the city work together to indentify other city property that could be used and is actually in the city of Edmonds? Would simply eliminating the admittance fee make the civic field available? The Taste was originally free and has become very expensive only recently. . The vendor fees and beer profits would still go to the Chamber. The Taste should stay physically in Edmonds.

  26. Mr. Tupper accurately quotes current Edmonds School District policy regarding alcohol. However, that policy, number 4260, was revised on May 25, 2017. A district spokesman could tell us what, if any, alcohol was allowable prior to 2017. Alcohol was permitted at banquet functions in a different local school district owned community available conference center in the 1990s. therefore at leat one school district did not have a totally prohibitive policy. It is a moot point now but of historical interest. Also, a city permit cannot overule school district policy for district property use.

  27. Wouldn’t you think the Taste of Edmonds…would be in Edmonds? If you’re going to have it in Esperance, shouldn’t it be called the Taste of Esperance? Even with advertisement, no doubt many people will come to Edmonds, looking for the Taste, only to learn that it’s moved. Are Edmonds City employees (Facilities Maintenance, Parks & Recreation, and Police Officers), who set-up and clean-up after the event be paid by Edmonds…or Esperance?

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