Public voices support for not building Sound Transit facility on Dick’s site

May 8, 2019, 1:26 PM | Updated: May 9, 2019, 11:42 am
Dick's Kent Midway Landfill...
(KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

A recent report released by Sound Transit revealed a sizable outpouring of support for removing the site of a Kent’s Dick’s Drive-In from consideration for a new light rail maintenance facility.

RELATED: Kent questions estimate to build on Dick’s, landfill sites
RELATED: Sound Transit removal of Kent Dick’s ‘doesn’t make any sense’

The report details 950 total public comments related to the Dick’s site, 865 of which supported removing it from consideration. Just 25 wanted the facility there.

Also submitting opposition to using the Dick’s site were a handful of businesses in the area that would be impacted or displaced, including Dick’s, Lowe’s, and more. Primary reasons for opposing the site including “property acquisition and relocation,” and “neighborhood impacts.”

Commenters in favor of the site noted its “cost-effectiveness,” and “fewer impacts to wetlands and other environmentally critical areas.”

Where commenters do want to build

690 comments mentioned the Midway Landfill. Of those, 615 were in favor of using that as the site for the facility, with just 45 opposed.

Sound Transit recently estimated that building on the landfill would cost upwards of $1.3 billion, $500 million more than its estimate for what it needs to build on the Dick’s site.

Those estimates include costs for property acquisition, relocation costs, construction, and building tracks to connect to the light rail line. Sound Transit would also have to cover the entire area with a three-foot concrete platform for “stability purposes.”

Supporters for building on the landfill cited a “lower number of residential and business displacements, the use of undeveloped land, and the responsibility of the government to clean up an otherwise unusable site.”

Opponents pointed out concerns related to “releasing hazardous materials,” as well as higher construction costs.

Where city officials stand

Earlier in the year, the City of Kent formally petitioned Sound Transit to remove the Dick’s site from consideration, encouraging the use of the Midway Landfill.

Others working for the city have called Sound Transit’s construction estimates for the landfill into question.

“Our staff strongly believe one of the alternatives for the former landfill site is way high,” City Public Works Director Tim LaPorte recently told Kent City Council’s Public Works Committee. “We do not concur with the numbers that we have seen come from the consultant being utilized by Sound Transit.”

Dick’s Drive-In Executive Vice President Jasmine Donovan shares Kent’s doubts, citing a Sound Transit presentation to Federal Way Council in February that “said these numbers were so preliminary, that they are effectively useless in evaluating the true cost.”

“Our community deserves better information about the true capital cost of using that site to build the OMFS,” Donovan told MyNorthwest in March.

Kent’s Public Works committee even recently approved $100,000 in spending to hire an outside engineering consultant to come up with an estimate of its own.

The Sound Transit board is scheduled to meet Thursday, May 9, where it will discuss alternative sites for its maintenance facility, where it could potentially eliminate some of the sites on its list right now. On May 23, it will officially pick sites to move forward with long-term.

There are six total sites currently under consideration: Three in Kent, two in Federal way, and one in unincorporated King County.

Once Sound Transit has a shortlist in hand after the May 23 meeting, each of the remaining sites will be subject to an Environmental Impact Statement. A preliminary EIS draft will be published in 2020, followed by a final version in 2021. Construction will kick off shortly after that, with the facility set to open in 2026.

In total, Sound Transit weighed online comments from 3,400 people, in addition to 370 more people at a pair of open houses. 1,400 written communications were submitted, along with 2,500 “comment statements.”

Local News

Starbucks union...
Nick Bowman

From Seattle to Atlanta: Starbucks union push builds steam across nation

A push among Starbucks workers to unionize has continued to grow across the United States, now spanning 30 cities and even more stores.
13 hours ago
N95 masks...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington residents can soon pick up free N95 masks

Washington state residents won't have to wait too much longer to pick up free N95 masks. They will be available at some local pharmacies.
13 hours ago
Dalton Day

Cool ocean waters, abundant nutrients provide rosy outlook for Washington salmon

Scientific markers used to predict the health of marine species such as juvenile salmon were positive in 2021, the second most favorable since 1998.
13 hours ago
Screengrab from witness video of a stolen car crashing into police cars that had boxed the thief in...
Heather Bosch

Dramatic rise in car thefts blamed on new Washington state law

Car thefts in Washington have reportedly increased by 50% since a new state law limiting police pursuits took effect at the end of July.
13 hours ago
Echo Glen...
Dalton Day

Report says Echo Glen center, site of recent escape, is understaffed, underfunded

A 2018 report indicates that employees of Echo Glen insist the detention facility is short staffed, and that its counselors are not sufficiently trained.
2 days ago
Washington voting...
Nick Bowman

Washington weighs significant changes to how (and when) it votes in 2022

A trio of proposals related to how Washington conducts its elections could bring dramatic voting changes to the state by the end of the legislative session.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Public voices support for not building Sound Transit facility on Dick’s site