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What Trees are at Risk?

In response to a community petition, the Port of Seattle announced in August, 2021, that it had removed a proposal from its Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) that would have replaced 11 acres of trees in North SeaTac Park with a parking lot.

But multiple other existing proposals within the SAMP and the Port’s Real Estate Strategic Plan (RESP) would commercially develop an estimated 107+ acres of mostly tree-covered land - 31.5 acres inside the park and 70+ acres in neighborhoods all around it.

Trying to Understand the Big Picture

The Port doesn’t make it easy for people to understand just how much deforestation is coming to their community.

This image shows one resident’s attempt to sum up total projected tree destruction shown under the SAMP and RESP. It’s from a PowerPoint presentation that can be viewed HERE.

A mile-high view

This image, also from the presentation linked to above, is adapted from a 2016 presentation by the Port on its RESP. The box and label for the Westside Maintenance campus has been added.

Some of the Port’s tree destruction plans appear in both the SAMP and RESP, some in only one. For some proposals, the Port provides square footage. For others it provides acreage. For yet others, it provides no disclosure on how much forest would be affected.

Inside the Park

The Port of Seattle is conducting an inventory of the ecological, recreational, and other land use attributes of this 55-acre parcel within the park.

Until this inventory is complete, originally projected in mid-March 2022, the Port has put all development plans on hold. This provides a short window for community organizing to make clear that, regardless of the Port’s interpretation of its inventory, it must not destroy this portion of the park for its commercial development.

North SeaTac Park Agreements

Click on map to the left for a larger version

This North SeaTac Agreements map, provided by Port of Seattle Customer Care in a 4/21/21 email, shows that most of the park is leased to the City of SeaTac by the Port of Seattle only until 2070.

These intralocal agreements and the park’s current zoning, which is Aviation Commercial, would allow the Port to eventually develop the entire park.

55 acres within the park - which appear on the map as a yellow and red-hatched area labeled with the number 5 - can be removed from park use “at any time” with 180 day notice.

The 11-acre airport employee parking lot proposal that was the subject of the community petition was sited within this 55-acre parcel. So is the current proposal by the Port to develop 31 acres within the park.


© 2022

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