Let’s celebrate North SeaTac Park, one of the largest open green spaces in South King County, filled with trees and wetlands and creeks and places to play and gather. It’s a young park - only about 24 years old. And it’s living on borrowed time unless we step up to protect it. Dozens of acres of trees near the park, too, are at risk of destruction for airport expansion.
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Help us sing this North SeaTac Park Redux of Joni Mitchell’s “Paved Paradise” song: YouTube Link
City of SeaTac
Mayor Jake Simpson
Deputy Mayor Senayet Negusse
Councilmember Mohamed Egal
Councilmember Iris Guzman
Councilmember Peter Kwon
City of Des Moines
Councilmember JC Harris
City of Normandy Park
Councilmember Earnest Thompson
City of Tukwila
Councilmember Kate Kruller
Environment, Energy, and Land Use Caucus of the Combined 33rd and 34th District Democrats
Java the Hut (coffee stand across from park at S. 128th St.)
… and over 1,700 other community members
Thousands of people once lived on North SeaTac Park’s 200+ acres. By the 1990s, the Port of Seattle had used eminent domain to remove them, along with their homes, schools and businesses, for airport expansion. Area residents were told that this land would be a park to compensate them for severe cumulative airport impacts.
But over 30 acres of forested land inside North SeaTac Park are at risk from Port development.* And the Port additionally proposes in its Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) and Real Estate Strategic Plan, (RESP) to commercially develop an estimated 75+ acres of mostly tree-covered land near the park.
Public Health Seattle-King County has recommended increasing green space and tree canopy in this community to protect residents from airport pollution that is shortening lives. The Port’s proposed tree and green space destruction would be devastating for the area’s ecology and community livability, would harm public health, and would bean act of environmental injustice violating its own commitments to avoid sprawl and protect forested land.
Our community’s trees and park land are much too valuable to replace with cargo warehouses, parking lots, and receiving and distribution centers.
*On July 12, 2022, Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed stated at a Commission meeting that the Port does not have plans to develop inside the park. However, as recently as September 2021, the existence of an active proposal to develop 31.5 acres inside the park was acknowledged by the Port in two published statements. The Port has not withdrawn that proposal and Commissioner Mohamed’s statement does not commit the Port to refrain from developing inside the park at any time in the future. The entire park is zoned Aviation Commercial. Under agreements between the Port and the City of SeaTac, 55 acres of it can be removed from park status “at any time” and all 200+ acres can eventually be taken out of park status. For these and other reasons, until the Port provides a written commitment to the contrary, Defenders of North SeaTac Park considers the park to be at risk from commercial development by the Port of Seattle. Read more and view documentation HERE.
We envision North SeaTac Park and its surrounding forest restored and protected for the health, well-being and delight of the people and that people in all neighborhoods throughout our region can live within vibrant urban forests where tree-lined corridors connect with parks, forestland, and cool, green spaces to play, relax, and gather. This Consensus, with your support, can bring that vision closer to reality.
The Port of Seattle “states the Park is the culmination of a long term and very open planning process to compensate the area’s residents for cumulative airport impacts. According to the Aviation Division, the Park is the best compatible use of a severely airport-impacted area".
Federal Aviation Administration Compliance Reviews of Airport Noise Land Use & Financial Operations 2016 p. 11.
SeaTac International Airport and the surrounding community for many miles around it are on the ancestral lands and waters of the Salish people of the Duwamish, Green, White, Cedar, and Upper Puyallup rivers, including those who are now members of the Duwamish Tribe and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. These tribes and their members have been stewarding these lands and waters since time immemorial. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the members, past and present, of these tribes.
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