Park Plan for Bonney Lake Includes Civic Center, BMX Facility and Sports Complex

Mayor Neil Johnson's preferred parks plan for Bonney Lake is a $15 million investment in re-purposing land the city already owns into community and green space.

Bonney Lake may get some new parks in land already owned by the city, thanks to an idea from Mayor Neil Johnson to build a downtown civic center and transform the Reed and Moriarty properties into parks, trails, BMX courses and ball fields at the tune of $15.8 million.

“We already own this property… so this plan is more cost-efficient for the city,” said Johnson. “Our goal with this was to figure out how to cover all our bases.”

Analyzing property the city already owns for park repurposing is a shift away from plans for , which the city seems to have quietly shelved. The YMCA is too expensive, Johnson reasoned, and is something the city could revisit in the future if more money for park expansion materializes.

Fifteen projects were identified that the city can start planning for now – and what citizens could pay for if metropolitan parks bond makes the ballot in 2013. These plans aren’t finalized, but Bonney Lake has laid the groundwork for the public to consider.

Here’s a breakdown of Mayor Johnson’s Preferred Parks Plan:


Mayor Johnson envisions a Bonney Lake pavilion in the heart of downtown, near the new justice center. The city already owns multiple parcels in the area so land acquisition won’t be an issue. The plan would cost the city approximately $2.5 million.

Johnson drew inspiration from the Puyallup’s Pioneer Park, with a center that could act as the community gathering hub and cultural center of Bonney Lake – until a larger civic center could be built in the future.

“If we build a pavilion right downtown, we could have concerts, art and history. It would be a great kickoff to a civic center campus, which is about 10 to 15 years down the road,” said Johnson. “If we could get something there now it will get citizens motivated to speed up the process and there could be something more there sooner.”


The biggest dollar item on the preferred parks plan is the transformation of the Reed Property, 20 acres of land owned by the city just outside its limits on Connells Prairie Road, past the historical marker.

Plans for a complex on the property call for playgrounds, park area and six sports fields would cost approximately $6.5 million. This would include concession stands, dugouts, bleachers and picnic shelters.


The Moriarty Property, adjacent to Allan Yorke Park, could be recreated into a multi-purpose outdoor center with amphitheater, playground, sports courts and a BMX facility.

Bonney Lake’s old city hall on Locust Avenue will one day link up to the Moriarty property park, which will create a green belt of parks in the middle of the city, ending at the Allan Yorke boat launch.

The deed for the old city hall says that it must be repurposed into park property once it’s vacant, said Johnson. Once all city employees are moved from that building, more park land will be available for another ball field, parking or passive use picnic area.


 The preferred park plan calls for $2 million in trails – to be located along Fennel Creek and an extension on Garden Meadows. Johnson said there could be easy walking trails blended into plans for the Moriarty, city hall and Reed properties as well, which are easy to include once the park development begins.


Trail on WSDOT, "City Hall" and Cimmer Parcels (includes trailhead)


Pavilion in Downtown Civic Center $2.5 MILLION Sport complex (6 fields) (REED PROPERTY) $6.5 MILLION Maintenance shed REED PROPERTY $200,000 Restrooms + concession stand REED PROPERTY $200,000 Sport Courts REED PROPERTY $400,000 Playground(s) REED PROPERTY $100,000 Picnic shelters, dugouts, bleachers REED PROPERTY $500,000 Trail extension to Garden Meadows $1 MILLION Multi-purpose playfield (Moriarty) $500,000 BMX Facility (Moriarty) $100,000 Amphitheater (Moriarty) $500,000 Sport Courts (Moriarty) $400,000 Playground (Moriarty) $100,000 Parking lot, storm facility, picnic shelters, storage shed (Moriarty) $800,000



Estimated Tax Levy $0.57/$1,000 AV Estimated Annual Tax on $215,506 Home $122.58


The Bonney Lake Council could begin studying formal plans for the development of a parks bond at the end of August or early September. Johnson said that information on the Parks Plan will be available for the public to check out during Bonney Lake Days at the city-run booth and plans for a follow-up park summit are not far away. For the next , Johnson envisions a series of open-house meetings, where the public has plenty of opportunity to weigh in on the future of parks in Bonney Lake.

If the council decides to ask voters to form a Metropolitan Park District, the city will be able to ask voters for a park tax levy. If all goes according to plan, the estimated affect on a homeowner would be $0.57 per $1,000 of the assessed home value – $122.58 per year on a $215,500 home.

Brian K Cebe July 31, 2012 at 01:28 AM
I personally do not oppose a tax for the development of recreation in this city .I actually encourage it .But the question that comes to mind is why does their plan always change and what guarantee do we have that they will actually spend the money on what we the people want. I have dealt with the Mayor,City Council and the City Administrator and I personally have no faith in them being honorable and doing what they say.Case in point is the new City Hall that they have built and they wont even put up a sign on. What is interesting is the Mayor and his cronies will get a majority of the money for a softball complex. last I new the people of this community came first not the Mayor Brian K Cebe
Lauren Padgett August 02, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I think this idea is pretty creative and I think using resource land already in the city's bank of property is a good idea. I went to the community summit and heard a lot of parents and local sports advocates say that ball fields were their priority. A civic center like the one Mayor Johnson is suggesting could be a good place for history, culture and arts. There does seem to be something for everyone with this plan!
Lucy Schwartz August 03, 2012 at 05:27 AM
I believe that the community wants to have all these things and have our City become a beautiful and exciting place for our children to grow up in. I also believe that the arts and the history of this City needs to be in the mix. We can have new buildings and trails and sports but what about the history of this area? What about the arts in which our town hasn't even looked at. Many towns around us have music during lunch each day and artists doing and showing their talents in various places. Landowners of vacant stores are allowing arts to be put into the windows so that the sting of so many vacant shops around town doesn't hurt so bad. My point is the arts are in many ways vital for the mental health of all of us. do we just want folks to just speed down 410 and not stop and give us some of their business? And, who wants to go without knowing about the history and the settlers who developed this town? Making it a more personal experience for our children must mean something. My goal is to advocate change in all aspects of the arts. In today's life too many people are without the pleasure of the arts and history aspect to soothe us at the end of a hard days struggle to make ends meet. The Rats cannot win without a fight with this girl.
Donna Hinkley August 05, 2012 at 09:42 PM
It sounds similar to what has already been proposed. We NEED more parks that include playgrounds, tot lots and spray grounds. But what about the plans to transfer the WSU forest? I am fustrated that all community development in Bonney Lake currently is, and is proposed by the Major, to be on one side of 410 when its residents clearly live on both. What about us that live on the Prarie Ridge side? There is NOTHING over here, I feel we are discriminated against. In Tacoma, every section (New, Central, Old, East, West, North) has a playground, sprayground, or pool. I'm happy if a YMCA doesn't come in, I prefer a community center with pool, playground, tennis courts, ball fields, skate park, basketball court etc. where we can have community events and people can gather without paying $120 a month just to enter. But at the Community Planning meeting, this was supposed to be located at the WSU forest site. NO EVERYONE LIVES ON ONE SIDE OF 410!!!


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