By Jack Mayne

In August the SeaTac City Council passed an ordinance which established a moratorium on the application for permits to permanently establish halfway houses, work release facilities, and similar uses. At that time, no required public hearing was held, so that was accomplished Tuesday night.

The Council held the required public hearing on Tuesday night (Oct. 26, 2021) on the halfway house use which includes state licensed work release facilities and is also considered an essential public facility allowed in most commercial zoning designations. Any new facility would need a conditional use permit and be in compliance with the city’s parking and landscaping requirements.

Picked site stalled
In February the state Department of Corrections picked a potential new work release facility near International Boulevard and South 188th Street.

SeaTac told the corrections department of several concerns, including impacts to the community from the creation of another “essential public facility” in the relatively small geographic area of the city. Another concern was its compatibility with the hospitality focus of the city center.

SeaTac officials say the corrections department repeatedly declined to take action to address these concerns; then, in August, said it was going to proceed with the SeaTac site. This action stalls any such facility.

Autonomous Vehicles
Council approved a state legislative agenda that SeaTac requests the state adopt a proactive approach that will protect public safety while still allowing autonomous vehicle use. Concerns have been raised that autonomous vehicles could be of danger to citizen if they go awry. Councilmember Pam Fernald added to the message stressing the protection of local jobs.

Regional Jail
Another city message to the Washington Legislature approved by the Council is that SeaTac will support ongoing efforts to ensure that the cities who own the South Correctional Entity Regional Jail (SCORE) are able to “provide a cost-effective correctional alternative to individual facilities.”

The annual Veterans day Proclamation was approved by Council.