Photos courtesy Nancy TostaOn Tuesday night, Nov. 1, the Port of Seattle held a Community Meeting and Open House on its proposedÂ Flight Corridor Safety Program, which is intended to remove around 3,000 trees at and around Sea-Tac Airport. Well over 100 people attended the event, which wasÂ held at Bow Lake Elementary School in SeaTac. In addition to the overflowing crowd of concerned citizens, Port Commissioners present includedÂ Tom Albro, John Creighton, Courtney Gregoire and Fred Felleman. The port had variousÂ display stations withÂ details about the project, its connection with FAA regulations, as well as the intention to plant newÂ trees and shrubs. Port representatives were at each display, answering questions from interested â€“ and often passionate â€“ attendees. A public comment section allowed residents to speak their minds, oftentimes with passion. According to Burien Councilmember Nancy Tosta:
There were approximately 50 people offering comments (a couple hundredÂ attending). Concerns were raised about noise, cutting trees on private property with lack of compensation, possibilities for topping rather than cutting trees down, mitigation plans that result in planting trees in other areas. Port Commissioners said they understand there is a lack of trust, ever since 3rd runway decision. They said there would be a transcript and answers to questions on their website. Debi Wagner and Larry Cripe were there through the meetingÂ as well,Â as was Tina Orwell. I asked that Commissioners provide leadership in the region by recognizing the need for and working towards a second internationalÂ airport.The program plans to roll out this programÂ inÂ three phases based on location, as follows:
- 2016Â â€“ Phase 1: Port properties (estimated 1,200 trees)
- 2017Â â€“ Phase 2: Publicly-ownedÂ propertiesÂ (est. 1,400 with 1,200 on WSDOT property, many forÂ future Hwy 509)
- 2018Â â€“ Phase 3: Residential properties (est. 180), commercial properties (est. 200)
- 1,200 trees on Port property
- 1,400 on publicly owned or commercial properties (about 1,200 on Washington State Department of Transportation property, many on land set aside for future Hwy 509 expansion)
- An estimated 180 trees on residential properties. Trees on residential properties will not be affected until 2018. Each resident will be contacted and offered a number of alternatives to choose from to best meet their needs.