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SeaTac Council hears parking lot owner say area crime at ‘level of crisis’

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By Jack Mayne [2]

Crime was listed as a major problem for SeaTac and surrounding cities, the owner of public parking facilities told City Council at Tuesday meeting

“Crime in this region has really reached a level of crisis,” Tejvir Basra told the SeaTac City Council Tuesday night (March 26). “We are repeatedly seeing incidents of vandalism, theft, other incidents of theft at both of our parking lots in Burien and SeaTac.”

“I really think that someone is going to be killed really soon if we don’t try to address this,” Basra, whose family is owner of Park N Jet Parking, 18220 8th Ave. South. Basra is also chair of the SeaTac Planning Commission.

Youth at reckless abandon
He said the incidents involve “juveniles that are acting with reckless abandon” and the problem, he thinks, is the court’s “catch and release philosophy” and “a lot of policies that are encouraging juveniles to kind of commit any crime without any fear of the consequences.” Juveniles are arrested and sent to courts who refuse to prosecute them, said Basra. “I really can’t understand how this system can work.”

“Our employees have had their lives threatened, countless vehicles have been vandalized, our customer vehicles have been stolen and totaled,” Basra said. “We are really at the point of desperation,” adding they have had six cars stolen from their lots.

He said many others in the parking business have told him about similar issues they are facing and his company and others have been working with the SeaTac and Burien police departments “and they have done their best to assist.”

“We have these culprits on video, committing these crimes, and nothing is going to happen,” he said. “I really think it has come down to King County’s policy of zero use of detention …”

He said that SeaTac city manager and former police chief, Carl Cole, has worked with the parking lot owners, but the problem is one that King County needs to address.

“This could be a cataclysmic episode issue for our city,” he told the Council and suggested they city speak with other businesses, “we aren’t really the only ones,” Basra said.

McMicken Parking permits launched
Public Works Program Coordinator Mason Giem told the Council that registration for the neighborhood permit parking program in the McMicken Heights neighborhood began on Monday, March 25, and it has already issued 13 permits. Enforcement of the permits will begin on May 1. Signs notifying non-residents of the permit parking requirements will be up in April, Giem said.

Violators of the parking zone face a $50 fine for parking longer than three hours. A violator can receive multiple tickets in one day. Vehicles parked in the permit parking zone longer than six hours may be subject to additional fines.

City staff says residents or business owners who want to park for longer than three hours in the parking zone are required to register their vehicles. Residents can register their cars online or in person at city hall.

Locking mail boxes
On the city’s locking mailbox program, Giem said that 147 boxes have already been sold of the 200 originally purchased by the city. A survey indicated that over 80 percent of those responding “are likely or extremely likely to recommend the SeaTac Locking Mailbox program to others.”

Giem also noted the city’s recycling event for hazardous items like latex paint and CFL lightbulbs and is slated for April 6 at the SeaTac Public Works Department, located at 4800 South 188th Street.

The Council approved $661,000 for a cost sharing agreement for both SeaTac and Des Moines for the construction of the Des Moines Memorial Drive South and South 200th Street Intersection project where both cities intersect. The work will construct left turn lanes on all four parts of the intersection and a right turn lane on the east leg. Also, turning radii at the intersection will be sized to accommodate heavy freight, transit bus, and school bus traffic.

The Council confirmed the mayor’s re-appointment of Charrise Oden, along with new appointments of Jennifer Corona, Ruth Solero, and Jo Ann Hill to the SeaTac Community Services Advisory Committee. The Council also approved the appointment of Andrew Ried-Munro to the planning commission and appointment of Charline Faulkner to the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee.

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