From our sister site The SeaTac Blog:

Port of Seattle Commission President Fred Felleman on Monday, July 19, 2021 released a statement in response to public concerns about the Port’s controversial proposal to construct an employee parking lot in North SeaTac Park.

As The SeaTac Blog previously reported, the Port is proposing turning an estimated 11 acres of mature forest in North SeaTac Park into a 1,500-space employee parking lot #L06. The plan – part of the organization’s Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) – has inspired an online petition against it.

“The Port Commission will not take action on this or any other SAMP-related projects, until after the environmental review which includes receiving feedback from the public,” Felleman said. “We will then apply our values when selecting which projects will receive funding. The Port Commission continues to take other actions to reduce single-occupancy trips to the airport and protect trees while providing economic opportunities for airport communities.”

The Port says that over 30 different projects, including alternatives, are all currently undergoing environmental review by the Port and FAA.

“The purpose of the environmental review is to fully evaluate potential environmental impacts and to determine if they can be adequately mitigated or to identify alternatives that are less impactful,” the Port said. “The Port and FAA expect to publish the draft environmental assessment by the end of the year.”

Here’s Felleman’s full statement:

Port of Seattle Commission President releases statement on controversial proposed airport parking lot 1

“The Port Commission appreciates the community’s interest and concerns over a staff proposal to potentially construct an employee parking lot on a portion of North SeaTac Park the Port leases to the City of SeaTac. We want to assure community members that Port Commissioners regard the protection of the environment and quality of life as being among our fundamental responsibilities. We understand that open space is especially important to residents near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“With regard to the employee parking lot proposal, Commissioners are concerned about impacts that could be caused through the loss of park land and impacts from single-occupancy vehicles coming to the airport.

“This proposal is but one alternative being reviewed as to how to meet potential future employee parking needs as part of the Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP). Port staff began the development of the SAMP in 2013 to prepare for future growth at the airport. It contains a set of proposed projects, none of which are approved.

“Over 30 different projects, including alternatives, are all currently undergoing environmental review by the Port and FAA. The purpose of the environmental review is to fully evaluate potential environmental impacts and to determine if they can be adequately mitigated or to identify alternatives that are less impactful. The Port and FAA expect to publish the draft environmental assessment by the end of the year.

“The Port Commission will not take action on this or any other SAMP-related projects, until after the environmental review which includes receiving feedback from the public. We will then apply our values when selecting which projects will receive funding. The Port Commission continues to take other actions to reduce single-occupancy trips to the airport and protect trees while providing economic opportunities for airport communities.

“We appreciate knowing how much the community values North SeaTac Park. Commissioners will decide the merits of the alternative ways to meet potential future needs for employee parking after the environmental review and public comment period. We appreciate those of you who already provided comments on the scoping document in 2018 and encourage you to submit any additional feedback for our consideration during the next comment period following the publication of the draft environmental review.

“Once again, thank you for sharing your concerns, and know that we hear you.”

Fred Felleman, President
Port of Seattle Commission President