Brian Davis, Community Development DirectorJim Harris, PlannerCity of Federal Way33325 8th Ave. S.Federal Way, WA email@example.com
RE: Greenline Business Park Application: File #17-10549-UP, File #17-105490-SE, File #17-105491-CN and Forest Practices Class IV General Permit.
Dear Mr. Davis and Mr. Harris,
We are residents of Federal Way and other communities in the Puget Sound region, submitting comments about the Greenline Business Park application for the historic Weyerhaeuser corporate campus. This property has environmental, historic and community significance.
We oppose construction of warehouses on this land. It is just not in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Federal Way. Our opposition to this application is much like that which we stated against Warehouse A and Warehouse B. But now that all three applications are in the pipeline and no environmental determination has been made on any of them, it would be egregious for the city to consider them as separate projects. We request a comprehensive environmental review be completed covering the impacts from all three applications.
We have many concerns about this Greenline Business Park application. We are highlighting the main ones here:
TRAFFIC—We believe the estimate of 400-plus semi-truck trips per day is low. After all, the largest warehouse alone (638,000 square feet) has 165 loading dock doors and parking for 111 trucks. In its JARPA application, the applicant state the project’s purpose is: “to provide warehouse distribution centers …” But a warehouse of this size and configuration suggests use as a package hub or possibly a fulfillment center, which can generate substantially more traffic than more traditional warehouses. These warehouses must be assessed for traffic on the worst-case scenario based on their size and configuration.
Even with 400 trucks, this project will have huge impacts on South 320th Street and the 320th/Interstate 5 interchange. We request that the applicant be required to widen the 320th Street overpass to provide queuing and turning space for semi-trucks entering and leaving the interchange, to prevent gridlock at an already congested area in our growing city.
In addition, the traffic impacts from such a massive project cannot be considered separately from the 400 semi-truck trips estimated from Warehouses A and B at the south end of the campus, as if there were a concrete barrier across Weyerhaeuser Way to prevent these trucks from traversing the campus or cutting through neighborhoods.
THE ENVIRONMENT — We are concerned about: clear-cutting huge swaths of forest in exchange for concrete structures and parking lots; reduced habitat for wildlife; and air pollution from hundreds of semi-trucks each day, which will affect people and wildlife (especially with the loss of the tree canopy); damage to wetlands, impacts to North Lake (loss of a large portion of its watershed) and storm water runoff that will impact Hylebos Creek, especially downstream where federal dollars have been spent to rehabilitate the salmon-bearing system.
We are also concerned about the potential for arsenic (from the defunct Asarco plant in Tacoma) in soil that will be disturbed during clearing and construction (the University of Washington is studying arsenic levels in North Lake, including from runoff).
As with traffic, the environmental impacts can’t be piecemealed; the city must require them to be considered comprehensively, which we believe will require an Environmental Impact Statement.
BUFFERS —The 1994 Concomitant Agreement specifies the managed forest buffer under “Section III. Minimum requirements.” Since, at a minimum, the buffer is required along the perimeter of the CP-1 zone, we ask that the city go beyond the minimum and require a forested buffer along the length of Weyerhaeuser Way at the edge of the proposed business park property.
This buffer should be deep enough and with an understory to not only screen views of the warehouses from Weyerhaeuser Way, but also to provide wildlife habitat — to help meet the 1994 Concomitant Agreement’s original intent of preserving and protecting the unique character of the campus.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION — The state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation has determined that the former Weyerhaeuser headquarters building and much of the original campus is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The entire campus has been declared a “Most Endangered” property by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. The intentionally designed landscape of the entire campus — including the north and south meadows — has also been declared at-risk by The Cultural Landscape Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Allowing concrete warehouses with multiple truck bays to be built on this property endangers the historic value of the entire property.
We disagree with Tetra Tech’s assessment that “the Greenline Business Park project will have no effect on any cultural resource property listed on, or eligible for nomination to, the National Register of Historic Places.”
We also support the more extensive comments being submitted separately by the grassroots community group, Save Weyerhaeuser Campus.
Thank you for your consideration of our efforts to preserve what's special about our community.