Founded in 1954, Mountlake Terrace has changed from a small rural community into a metropolitan suburb with a population of 20,810 residents (2007 estimate from State OFM). The efforts of the city's pioneers and leaders throughout the decades have created a unique City, filled with many amenities, and a vision for the future. The residential community of Mountlake Terrace began with the speculative construction of homes for returning World War II veterans and their young families. Within ten years, the population grew to 5,000 and a group of civic-minded residents took steps to create a municipal government. The City of Mountlake Terrace was incorporated on November 29, 1954 under a Council-Manager form of government.
Four of the five original Council Members, H. Scott Wilson, Patricia Neibel, Harley McFarland and Lester Steele were present and recalled their fond memories of the City in its infancy while former Mayors Lois Anderson, Dave Gossett, and other past city officials spoke about how the city matured and the challenges they faced. Original Mayor Gil Geiser passed away in 1987. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell addressed the crowd with stories of her Mountlake Terrace roots. Throughout the evening, past and present residents and employees reminisced about the old days.A spurt of new construction began along the main street of 56th Avenue in 2005 anticipating opportunities to come. The businesses that survived the downturn of the 1980's continue to thrive and serve as landmarks to local residents and attract loyal customers from all over the Puget Sound region.In 2006, the City Council decided to generate economic development throughout the community by creating and implementing a Town Center Plan. The City Council worked in tandem with the community to adopt a Town Center Plan in early 2007 with the hope of revitalizing its downtown to create an economically viable city and retain quality of life for its residents.