City Manager’s Weekly Report for week ending Jan. 19, 2019

City Manager’s Weekly Report
for week ending January 19, 2019

Airport Study. The Airport Study for the area including and surrounding the Sea-Tac International Airport is now ready for Request For Proposal release. The RFP project title: A Study of the Current and On-going Effects of the Operation of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. A contractor should begin by April 15, 2019, and be finished by June 1, 2020. The RFP is a product of input from the Department of Commerce (the agency conducting the study under Washington State legislative and budget directive), local city managers and local citizens. Of this group, resident and former council member Kathleen Waters and I have represented Normandy Park at the Department of Commerce advisory table, along with similar contingents from Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac (the city, no hyphen), Tukwila and Federal Way. The study will take a snapshot in time for issues involving air quality, noise, water quality, soils, air operations, traffic, parking, pedestrians, light, public safety, crime, public health, and quality of life. Of course, the particulars offer greater definition and breadth than these broad areas. The study will suggest mitigating any negative impacts, enhancing any positive impacts, and also suggest recommendations for future studies. The study will cost $600,000. The City of Normandy Park committed about .75% of this cost, not even one percent.

About the Hush House Concept. I learned something new this week. The airport “run-up” noise that everyone hears is highly likely not “run-up” noise; rather, this periodically pervasive noise is thruster noise as jets cross the 3rd Runway at two locations and also cross the 2nd Runway from three locations. Jets throttle way up to do this and get out of the landing/takeoff area. Alaska and Delta explained at a recent Noise Working Group subcommittee meeting of the StART (Sea-Tac Advisory Roundtable) that they intend to re-route air traffic during a trial around the north end of the runway, avoiding these throttle up crossings, while simultaneously improving operations. This trial may demonstrate substantial noise reduction, as jets underway on the ground use far less thrust than it takes to get a jet moving abruptly. I have heard that hush houses are highly desirable for noise reduction. While this was true in the past, these days, given the nature of the current fleet, hush houses would hardly be used, and would result in little or no substantial reduction of noise. I will learn more about exactly when this trial will take place sometime this spring; it should be interesting and perhaps very beneficial for residents.

Gross Floor Area Ratio. Gross Floor Area Ratio (GFAR) was discussed this week during the Planning Commission Meeting. In November, the City Council requested the Planning Commission to develop and return a recommendation with respect to GFAR by the end of January. The Planning Commission recommendation is to keep GFAR in all residential zones, but expand the intensity by five percent. In addition, the Planning Commission recommended exempting certain appurtenances such as attics that are inhabitable, breezeways and structures without vertical walls, and fully enclosed basements. The recommendation will be sent to the City Council in February for its review and consideration.

– Mark E. Hoppen, City Manager
City of Normandy Park
801 SW 174th Street
Normandy Park, WA 98166
(206) 248-8246 (Direct Phone)

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