Council Roundup: June 17, 2019

Sustainable Airport Master Plan Update, Rental Housing Policy Discussion, Increased Penalties for Fireworks, and PaRCS Work Plan Approved
Posted on 06/19/2019
Tenant Protections Announcement

Council discussed the Port of Seattle’s Sustainable Airport Master Plan, approved the Parks and Recreation Board work plan, discussed rental housing policy, and increased penalties for fireworks possession and discharge.

Sustainable Airport Master Plan

Arlyn Purcell, Director of Aviation Environment and Sustainability for the Port of Seattle presented an update on the Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP), which serves as the blueprint for changes at Sea-Tac Airport to meet future demand. These include more than 30 Near-Term Projects that will aim to improve efficiency, safety, access to the airport, and support facilities for airlines and the airport. Projects include 19 new gates, and an automated people mover with three stations to connect the rental car facility, new terminal, and main terminal. Near-Term Projects will accommodate 56 million passengers and meet the forecasted demand to 2027. Near-Term Projects will be complete or under construction by 2027.

In addition to considering forecasted passenger and cargo demand, the master plan analyzes current facilities, infrastructure, and operations—looking at scenarios five, 10 and 20 years in the future. The review includes air quality, energy and water conservation, recycling and other strategic environmental goals.

The Port and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are following a federally mandated process to study the environmental impacts and human health impacts of the airport’s sustainable master plan. The FAA initiated a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Port initiated a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate and disclose the potential environmental effects of the Near-Term Projects.

The Port has conducted community engagement over the last year, including public meetings, open houses, newsletters, and presentations at stakeholder meetings such as the Highline Forum and to local city councils.

Council brought forward the point of view of the Burien Airport Committee, raised questions about the process and the length of time included in the study, and raised concerns about the human health and environmental impacts of the airport’s rapid growth.

Parks and Recreation Board Work Plan Approved

Council approved the Parks and Recreation Board’s work plan and Interim PaRCS Director Casey Stanley provided an overview of the programs and services that the PaRCS department offers.

Rental Housing Policy

Council discussed proposed rental housing policies designed to protect renters. City staff presented policies that reflected community feedback. The public will have another opportunity to discuss the proposed policies on June 20 at a community conversation.

Increased Penalties for Fireworks

Council adopted changes to the City’s fireworks code. The changes to the code will not go into effect until 2020. The changes include the addition of a “social host liability” which holds the property owner responsible for fireworks discharged on their property (with some exceptions). Its purpose is to hold the person(s) in control of property accountable and encourage them to actively prevent violations on the property.

The biggest change however was to the penalty structure. Possession of fireworks will result in a civil infraction and $500 fine. Illegal discharge will result in a civil infraction as well: $500 fine for first offense, $1,000 for second offense, and $5,000 for third offense.