Updated: Jul 18
WOW–Sultan knows how to host excellent community events! This year’s Sultan Shindig, which took place July 7-9, attracted folks from all over to its vibrant street fair, upbeat parade, show and shine car show, carnival, logging contest, and more. The excitement and celebration of the event punctuated by three beautiful PNW summer days provided an opportunity to start conversations about the next 20 years of Sultan. Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by our booth, played with legos, and took time to learn about the comprehensive planning process!
Our tabling activity for Sultan Shindig encouraged street fair goers–especially kids–to place legos on a map of Sultan to indicate where they’d like to see new homes, businesses, schools, parks, trails, and safe streets in the future. We received lots of exciting ideas and, in doing so, learned more about the priorities of residents and visitors.
It’s impossible to cover every suggestion placed on the map, so we are only summarizing a few highlights here. But don’t worry! We tediously documented every idea with photos and notes, and we're working hard to incorporate all feedback into the refreshed community vision for 2044. Below are a few patterns that stood out to us during the lego exercise.
Expand and diversify parks and recreational opportunities. Can Osprey Park have a splash pad and swimming pool? What about a climbing wall? And what if we put a bike pump track near the skatepark? These are just a few of the popular ideas people shared to make Sultan’s parks more varied and exciting in the future. Families and kids also commonly dreamt of dog parks and new playgrounds up Sultan Basin Road.
Trail connections and safe streets. It’s hard to get there from here - especially if you don’t have a car or don’t want to wait in US-2 traffic. Comments like this were heard often when people drew desired trail connections between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Sultan. We also received many ideas for where the City might prioritize lighting and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure (e.g. Sultan Basin Road) due to unsafe high-speed vehicle traffic.
Basin residents need amenities… and schools! Residents new and old share a feeling of isolation on Sultan Basin Road–especially when it comes to goods, services, and amenities. Why not plan for a small neighborhood center? What about a new school and parks that kids and their families can walk to? Many participants also shared ideas for a variety of businesses at the intersection of Sultan Basin Road and US-2.
Downtown Gathering Spaces, Restaurants, and Shops. A common desire we’ve heard from the beginning: we want more to do in downtown! And now, thanks to this exercise and the input of residents, we have a lot to dream about. A cafe with good vibes and comfortable seating could serve as a social hub for Sultan’s residents. More restaurants with outdoor seating, a dance studio, an outdoor equipment shop, and an arts space are also on the minds of many. Why not childcare, nail salon, and hardware store too?
Mix it up. The co-mingling of different colored legos - particularly the yellow ones (homes) and the red (businesses and services) - was another theme that emerged each day we ran this exercise. People shared ideas for vertical mixed use (small apartments or condos over retail or restaurants) in downtown and at the intersection of US-2 and Rice Road, where apartments could top a larger grocery store. Other residents played with the idea of mixing in small, neighborhood-serving shops into the residential areas north of downtown.
More neighbors and housing choice. Recognizing the undeniable future of a growing population, several participants considered where new homes could go in the next 20 years and, in some cases, shared desires for condos, small multi-family buildings, and other less-common housing types found in Sultan today. Clusters of homes were placed along Sultan Basin Road and north of downtown. In a few circumstances, people shared the idea of stacking residential units above commercial spaces.
If you didn’t make it to our booth, don’t worry! We have plenty of upcoming opportunities for you to learn and share ideas about the comprehensive plan update. We’ll continue our tabling activities at the farmers market, including the event this weekend, July 22!