I oppose the selection of the SR 520 alternative, otherwise known as Alternative 4, as Sound Transit OMSF Preferred Alternative.
Selection of this alternative would cause irreparable harm and the shuttering of more than 40 small businesses and non-profits. Adding a 25-acre heavy industrial use to this vibrant mixed-use neighborhood would be a determent for all who live, work, shop and enjoy this area.
In addition, we believe protecting Goff Creek, a fish-bearing stream that currently daylights through our property, should be a priority. Siting a 25-acre heavy industrial use atop this environmentally sensitive creek is clearly not a compatible use.
We also believe the heavy industrial use of the OMSF is not consistent with the City of Bellevue’s comprehensive plan. Siting the OMSF at the Plaza 520 site adds an industrial facility to an area identified for increased employment and commercial uses. This site is currently zoned for general commercial and does not allow for industrial or big-box uses.
Finally, the SR 520 Alternative is also within a stone’s throw from one of Bellevue’s oldest neighborhoods – Bridle Trails – and we understand there is strong concern about the impacts of heavy industrial use on this community of more than 5,000 homes.
The two BNSF Alternatives advanced by Sound Transit are far better suited for this OMSF. Sound Transit already owns much of site, it is zoned industrial, and there is great opportunity to “overbuild” the site and create a transit-oriented development that builds off the nearby Spring District development.
Please do not site the proposed OMSF in the SR 520 Alternative. The results would be a disaster for our small businesses and the surrounding neighborhood.
Thank you for considering my comments.
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No Rail Yard at Plaza 520!
Sound Transit is currently evaluating the entire Plaza 520 property, as well as adjoining properties up to and including the Acura Dealership, as one of three possible Eastside locations for a future Sound Transit Link Light Rail heavy-industrial maintenance base for its trains. This would displace more than 40 small businesses and non-profits who call this site home. As tenants and stewards of Plaza 520, we strongly oppose selection of this site by Sound Transit. Should Sound Transit select the Plaza 520 property, Harsch would be forced to sell through eminent domain, and all tenants would be forced to relocate.