The SeaTac City Council this week approved a resolution that would allow the city to explore acquiring all or a portion of North SeaTac Park from the Port of Seattle.
This resolution authorizes staff to explore the feasibility of acquiring all or a portion of North SeaTac Park to maintain control over its facilities and preserve the park’s value as open space, tree canopy and recreational land for the community in perpetuity.
As we previously reported, North SeaTac Park has been a hot button issue of late, as the Port proposed building an employee parking lot which was later removed from its Sustainable Airport Master Plan after public opposition. Since then, local community activists have continued to rally support and work to save the park’s valuable forest.
Last year, Councilmember Peter Kwon initiated discussion between the Port and the city on the feasibility of the city taking ownership of the 220-acre North SeaTac Park. A second CRF submitted by Mayor Jake Simpson on Feb. 8, 2022, referenced Councilmember Kwon’s CRF and requested a resolution supporting the acquisition of the park by the City and restoration of its natural spaces.
The City currently operates portions of the park under two different leases with the Port. One lease expires in 2041 and the other in 2070. The City pays $10 annually per lease ($20 total) to the Port of Seattle.
The City currently hosts many recreational activities in North SeaTac Park (BMX, disc golf, remote-control car racing, softball and soccer fields, etc.). It is also the location of the SeaTac Community Center, Maintenance Facility and Highline/SeaTac Botanical Garden. In addition, North SeaTac Park is recognized as one of the largest open spaces in South King County that preserves a portion of the community’s natural environment and promotes the quality of life for the SeaTac residents and surrounding communities that benefit from the use of the park.
Joint working groups from the Port of Seattle and city have been meeting to explore topics around the feasibility of the city’s ownership of the park.