From the City of Mount Vernon 2005 Comprehensive Plan
COMMUNITY SELF-PERCEPTION AND VISION
The results of the public meetings have created a consistent picture of how people perceive the City of Mount Vernon. People are positive about the community. There is a high level of satisfaction, and there do not appear to be insurmountable problems. The major concern is to better control future development to maintain the positive character of the City.
In summary, the comments received on what is liked about the City include:
- Its location in a beautiful, rural area close to Seattle and Vancouver, as well as central to the sea and mountains;
- Small community atmosphere;
- The people, and a sense of belonging;
- The Skagit River.
The problems facing development and growth of the community include:
- Controlling development to maintain and enhance present character;
- Constructing traffic improvements, particularly in the Mall area;
- Development of mass transit to service the City and County, and to connect to the Seattle-Everett area.
- Expanding of the economy to support growth, but not compromise the surrounding environment.
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PLAN:
The citizens of Mount Vernon identify with their community and express pride in it. They appear to agree with what is being done, and because the feel it is such a special place, they are concerned that the quality of new development be improved so that, as growth occurs, the existing character is maintained and the overall community is enhanced.
2020 VISION STATEMENT:
The following vision statement for 2020 was developed and written by a sub-committee of the Quality of Life work group at the Community Summit:
The Mount Vernon of 2020 has a well-developed downtown, with tree-lined streets, sidewalk cafes and a waterfront park with trails linking the parks throughout the area. The City is busting with vital services, professional business, retail shops, and governmental offices. Bicycles share the road with pedestrians and quiet public transit vehicles link downtown with satellite services and other cities. Ride-sharing, multi-story parking, and widespread use of public transit help citizens enjoy a largely traffic-free downtown.
The economic base of Mount Vernon is also well-developed through environmentally sensitive industry built on the foundations of pre-existing industrial and commercial areas. The employment of the area is a diverse mix of clean industrial jobs, professional service jobs, retail jobs, and entrepreneurs.
Mount Vernon is linked economically on both regional and global levels, transporting goods and services along the high speed rail in the Interstate-5 corridor, through the Port of Skagit County International Airport outside Burlington, and through the seaport at Anacortes.
The hillsides surrounding Mount Vernon are green, the Skagit River is clean, and public access has been insured along its banks. Because wise planning fostered intense redevelopment of existing urban areas, the surrounding farmland, wetlands and woodlands have been preserved.
Annual festivals celebrate our successful agriculture and multi-cultural traditions. Visitors and residents alike take advantage of nearby recreation resources, such as the fish-filled Skagit River, Puget Sound, and the Cascade National Forest.
Community Service Centers are coordinated regionally, and house health and social services are available to everyone. Schools have grown in number, and their facilities also house additional community activities. The arts and cultural center hosts numerous exhibits and events, which enjoy a regional reputation. Childcare options are plentiful, with community and work place-based facilities affordable for all. Children and young people are valued members of society, and their input is welcomed at all levels of community decision-making.
The traditions of the many diverse cultures of the area are respected. Multi-cultural leadership is evident in all facets of community life, and all traces of racism and other forms of prejudice and intolerance have disappeared, partly through the work of Mount Vernon’s vital education programs. Our elders, our young people and our citizens with special needs receive the care, respect and special services they deserve.
In the Mount Vernon of 2020, the quality of life is high, as residents of all income levels, cultural backgrounds and interests enjoy access to affordable health care and social services, clean air and water, nearby recreation, and diverse employment and housing opportunities.
Finally, the citizens of Mount Vernon in 2020 are invigorated by a strong sense of both personal and social responsibility. This ethic has successfully been passed on to our young people.
In all facets of life, the long-term public good is considered above personal gain. This, above all else, helps guide the Mount Vernon of 2020.