The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is now available on the City website. The FEIS considers only two alternatives: Alternative 1, which is the No Action alternative from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS); and, Alternative 4, which is a new alternative that was developed in response to feedback received after the DEIS was issued regarding concerns about the upper study limits related to density and building height.
Alternative 1 is the No Action alternative from the DEIS, that assumes a three-phase approach based on information received after the release of the DEIS. The City now understands that the property owner has no short-term plans to add housing to the lower portion of the site; it is a well-functioning commercial center and there are no known partnerships with Sound Transit (ST) that would facilitate housing on top of the parking structure.
This phased approach assumes that a phase 1 development of up to 300 housing units could potentially be implemented in the near term on the upper section of property only (based on the DEIS calculations). A future phase 2 assumes a development of 150 to 200 units and could potentially be implemented in the near term on the upper section of property as well (based on the DEIS calculations). Phase 3 would likely have a much longer horizon, with an assumption that the landowner would develop mixed-use buildings on the lower section of property, facilitating the additional 150 to 200 (or more) housing units.
The combined Alternative 1 phases align with the total of 700 or more housing units assumed in the DEIS, while maintaining the current commercial square footage.
Alternative 4 is a new alternative that was developed in response to feedback received after the DEIS was issued regarding concerns about the upper study limits for density and building height. Alternatives 2 & 3 from the DEIS are only included in an appendix, acknowledging that they were studied, and the assumptions were valid, but they are not in alignment with the community’s desires for the Town Center.
Alternative 4 sets a 700-unit residential density maximum and is included along with all of the studies (shadow, height, etc.). Alternative 4 assumes 350 to 400 residential units in the upper section of the property; and, with expanded open space and implementation of bonus density with amenities (public open space in civic area, festival, street, etc.), assumes a redevelopment with predominantly commercial use with some mixed use centrally located on the site, as well as civic area improvements. Overall, there is approximately the same amount of commercial space as under current conditions. In the central mixed-use area, there will be levels of housing above active use, contributing another 300 to 350 units to get to the 700-unit maximum.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement is available here.
At this time, the City has not determined how it will proceed and has not identified a preferred alternative (between Alternative 1, No Action, and Alternative 4). The City Council and the Planning Commission are reviewing the FEIS and discussing it at upcoming meetings. Discussion of the FEIS is on the agenda of the next Planning Commission meeting on August 13, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at City Hall.