Defenders of North SeaTac Park SHOW UP to defend the community near SeaTac Airport and we can too.  
 
Defenders of North SeaTac Park is a group organized to call for the protection of an estimated 107 acres of tree-covered land inside and near North SeaTac Park. 
 
This is a human rights and social justice cause because trees mitigate the deadly impacts on nearby residents of the noise, heat, particulate, and carbon pollution of SeaTac International Airport. Public Health Seattle & King County has recommended expanding tree canopy and greenspace near the airport to reduce human exposure to deadly airport pollutants. (1)
 
The Port of Seattle owns North SeaTac Park’s 200+ acres. Though the park was created to compensate area residents for airport impacts, (2) the Port’s Real Estate Strategic Plan (RESP) contains a proposal to commercially develop 31 acres of it in the near term. Current zoning and intra-local agreements would allow the Port to eventually develop the entire park.  (3, 4, 5)
 
Recently, the City of SeaTac took action that, if successful, would protect the park in both the short and long term. On May 10, its Council passed Agenda Bill 5956, which authorizes city staff to explore the feasibility of acquiring the park in order to preserve its value “as open space, tree canopy, and recreational land for the community in perpetuity”. (6)
 
Defenders of the park went into action to support this. After reading about it here, eighteen (18) wrote in or spoke at the Port’s May 10th meeting and sixty-one (61) wrote in or spoke at the SeaTac Council meeting that night.
 
Now, that’s showing up!
 
If you’re reading this, consider supporting those 80 community members and all those who are taking action on this cause. Continued outreach to elected Port Commissioners is extremely important. SeaTac cannot acquire the park without their action and, so far, although Port and City officials are in dialogue on the matter, there is no tangible evidence that the Port intends to work with the City to enable transfer of the park on feasible terms.
 
It is also important to contact Commissioners because they have the authority to require that the Port withdraw current proposals in the RESP and Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) that would result in commercial development of an additional estimated 75 acres of mostly tree-covered land in our community near the airport. (7)
 
Here’s a sample message you can send to Commissioners:
SAMPLE EMAIL TO PORT OF SEATTLE COMMISSIONERS: calkins.r@portseattle.org, cho.s@portseattle.org, felleman.f@portseattle.org, hasegawa.t@portseattle.org, mohamed.h@portseattle.org
Dear Commission President Calkins and Commissioners Cho, Felleman, Hasegawa, and Mohamed,
I am writing to request an update on your actions to support the City of SeaTac in acquiring North SeaTac Park in order to preserve its value as open space, tree canopy, and recreational land for the community.
Please also update me on actions you are taking to remove proposals from the Sustainable Airport Master Plan and Real Estate Strategic Plan that would develop 31 acres of forested land inside the park as well as an additional estimated 75 acres of mostly tree-covered land in SeaTac.
You have the authority to remove these proposals that would destroy important community recreational assets and a significant portion of the remaining forest near the airport, both inside and near North SeaTac Park. This forested land protects us from airport noise, air, and heat pollution, removes significant amounts of climate disrupting carbon from the air, provides wildlife habitat, is a critical part of our heritage, and must be preserved.
Thank you in advance for your response and any action you can take to protect our park and a healthful level of tree canopy in our community.

Notes

  1. Community Health and Airport Operations Related Noise and Air Pollution: Report to the Legislature by Seattle-King County Department of Health in Response to Washington State HOUSE BILL 1109, December 1, 2020 
  2. Federal Aviation Administration Compliance Reviews of Airport Noise Land Use & Financial Operations 2016 p. 11.
  3. Real Estate Strategic Plan: Port Commission Study Session, July 26, 2016, p 16-22. Also see discussion and figures at “What trees are at risk?” page of KCTreeEquity.org.fdsf
  4. City of SeaTac zoning map
  5. North SeaTac Agreements map
  6. Agenda Bill 5956
  7. Seattle Tacoma International Airport Sustainable Airport Master Plan Near Term Projects Environmental Review Process Scoping Information Documents prepared by Landrum & Brown Inc. for Port of Seattle, July 2018 (p. 11)

 

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