Interested in what’s next?

Now that the North Auburn site is off the table for a potential transfer station, what happens now? If you’d like to be part of that conversation, the King County Solid Waste Division invites you to attend an informational open house to learn about the South County Recycling and Transfer Station project. County staff and project consultants will be on hand to explain the project and to answer questions. Attendees can also submit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

The open houses will be held:

February 22, 2016 from 6 – 8 p.m. (arrive/leave any time)
The Commons at Auburn High School
711 E. Main Street, Auburn

March 3, 2016 from 6 – 8 p.m. (arrive/leave any time)
The American Filipino Hall
103 6th Avenue N, Algona

The King County Solid Waste Division released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project on February 4. Comments on the DEIS must be received by March 9. These comments will then be evaluated and considered to inform the final EIS, which should be completed by October of this year.

The purpose of the DEIS is to evaluate potential impacts that siting, constructing, and operating a new recycling and transfer station would have on both the built and natural environments, including earth, air, and water quality; and land use, transportation, public services, and utilities.

The DEIS evaluated these impacts for three different alternatives:

  • Taking no action and keeping the existing Algona station;
  • Constructing a replacement facility at 901 C St. S.W. in Auburn; or
  • Constructing a replacement facility adjacent to the existing transfer station at 35101 W. Valley Hwy. S. in Algona.

More information about the project is also available on the division’s website, or by contacting Tom Creegan, project manager, at 206-477-5218, tom.creegan@kingcounty.gov.

No North Auburn Garbage Site thanks those who made the process work

The No North Auburn Garbage Site citizens’ group would like to thank the following public officials for always being open and helpful while doing a difficult job planning King County’s solid-waste future. Thanks to:

  • King County Council member Pete Von Reichbauer and Council staff for actively listening to our concerns.
  • Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus for your support. It was key to getting the North Auburn site eliminated from the list.
  • Auburn City Council member Bill Peloza, chair of the Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee, who always helped us find good answers.
  • Peloza’s colleagues on the Auburn City Council — John Holman, Claude DaCorsi, Wayne Osborne, Yolanda Trout, Rich Wagner and Largo Wales.
  • Former Auburn City Council member John Partridge.
  • Pat McLaughlin, Polly Young, Diane Yates, Eric Richardt and others at King County Solid Waste for your openness and willingness to keep us informed.

Our sincere thanks also to the Federal Way United Methodist Church for offering space to hold our meetings, and to the Auburn West Hill neighborhood and all the concerned citizens who spoke convincingly at public meetings, signed petitions, and wrote letters to officials.

No North Auburn Garbage Site
Cindy Flanagan, Marie-Anne Harkness, Jon Lindenauer, John Brekke, Eleanor Brekke, Bill Boyd

North Auburn site removed from consideration

The King County Solid Waste Division has ended its consideration of the North Auburn site as a potential location for a new transfer station.

A statement from Division Director Pat D. McLaughlin says, in part:

“Subsequent environmental review has determined that the . . . potential site, located at 28721 West Valley Highway S., Auburn, WA 98001 and including the two parcels immediately adjacent to the west, is not a reasonable alternative, cannot feasibly attain the proposal’s objectives, and will be eliminated as an alternative for the location of a new transfer station.”

The county will prepare an environmental impact statement that evaluates two properties at:

  • 901 C Street Southwest, Auburn
  • 35101 West Valley Highway South, Algona

The county could also retain the current Algona Transfer Station at 35315 West Valley Hwy. S. in Algona until the end of its useful life.

Read the entire statement and a story in the Auburn Reporter.

No North Auburn Garbage Site leaders ask King County to conclude negotiations with Algona before adopting Solid Waste Transfer Plan Review

Several leaders of the No North Auburn Garbage Site group have submitted comments urging King County to conclude negotiations with the City of Algona before adopting of its new Draft Solid Waste Transfer Plan Review Report.

The two governments are discussing how to replace the existing Algona transfer station on nearby land already owned by King County. No North Auburn Garbage Site maintains that the transfer plan leaves unanswered a number of vital questions relating to South King County.

“The answers will be much clearer when a plan for Algona is finalized,’ says co-chair Marie-Anne Harkness. “That’s why we’re encouraging King County to conclude the negotiations with Algona as soon as possible. We need to have a clear picture of the future there before the county commits to a broader — and very expensive — plan that affects us all.”

Read a digest of comments from No North Auburn Garbage Site leaders here.

Construction pauses on warehouse project

Construction has been placed on hold at 28721 West Valley Highway South (the potential site of a garbage transfer station) on a warehouse being fuWest Valley Hwy site - 5.6.15nded by Panattoni Development and built by Poe Construction Co. (See earlier post).

As we understand it, the issue that put the project on hold is related to storm water. The City of Auburn’s Planning Department is requiring the developer to meet certain permitting requirements. We’ve been told the developer is working with consultants to meet the requirements, although we’ve not been given a timeline.

We will bring you updates as we receive them.

Warehouse construction under way on North Auburn site, Algona is now leading choice for new South King County transfer station

Warehouse construction under way on North Auburn site, Algona is now leading choice for new South King County transfer station Warehouse-construction-1Construction of a warehouse distribution center has begun at the potential North Auburn transfer station site at 28721 West Valley Highway South. The property was recently sold to Panattoni Development Co. of Newport Beach, Calif., one of the Puget Sound region’s most active developers of industrial space. Panattoni is building 12 industrial projects totaling 2.5 million Warehouse-construction-3square feet between Sumner and Everett. Construction work at the Auburn site is being done by Poe Construction, based in Auburn. The King County Solid Waste Division (KCSWD) says the construction project has nothing to do with a new transfer station, and Poe confirms that a warehouse distribution center is being built on the site. Meanwhile, KCSWD has shifted the focus of its planning for a new South King County transfer station to Algona. The division has posted the following at its web page about the project:

“The environmental review process undertaken by King County examines the probable significant adverse environmental impacts of this project for each site. This effort revealed issues at the two sites located in Auburn that would significantly affect the project cost and schedule. Such issues do not exist for the site located in Algona, next to the current facility.

“The King County Solid Waste Division is in the process of discussing mitigation strategies with the City of Algona that would address the minor potential environmental impacts anticipated, and would allow the County to site the new station next to the existing station. These discussions are productive and ongoing.”

An email from KCSWD says those discussions are “positive and going well.” KCSWD expects to release a new timeline for the project in September. We will share details at this website. “It is clear that the efforts of the No North Auburn Garbage Site citizen’s group has paid big dividends,” says spokesman Jon Lindenauer. “We will continue to communicate with Auburn and King County and keep you updated.”

Feedback to Mayor Nancy Backus unanimously opposes Auburn transfer station

Earlier this month, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus asked area residents to provide feedback on this question: Should there be a solid waste transfer station in Auburn? On April 11, she posted 27 responses on the “Mayor’s Feedback Requests” page of the City of Auburn’s website. All 27 were opposed to a transfer station in Auburn. A large majority addressed the proposed North Auburn site at 28721 West Valley Highway. Here’s a sampling of responses:

Marilyn N.: This facility would be noisy, unattractive, and a real detriment to our neighborhood. We would have never bought a new or existing home in this area had we known a landfill would be placed right below or in close proximity to where we live. We don’t want to hear it all night long and don’t need the traffic in the area that a facility like this would bring.

Julie M.: This will destroy my property value, put excessive traffic on West Valley, bring noxious birds to the area, destroy owl habitat and basically ruin North Auburn.

Kathleen C.: Last year I learned that the current Algona site services 2,700 vehicles each week. I can’t imagine the impact this would have on Auburn if the 28721 West Valley site is chosen. . . It is once again time for Auburn to give an emphatic “NO” to King County. The Algona site is a viable option and the location appears to have worked well for the past 50 years. I support continued opposition to any Auburn siting.

Cathy B.: I am writing to express my strong opposition to siting a transfer station at 28721 West Valley Highway in North Auburn.  I cannot overstate what a bad idea I think this is, and I am mystified as to why King County Solid Waste would even be considering this as a transfer station site. . . Please consider what a negative impact this could have on the businesses, homes, and wildlife in this area.

Susanne M.: Thank you for asking for feedback on the proposed dump in Auburn. My family, my neighbors and I STRONGLY OPPOSE this site. We ask that you do all in your power to stop it from ruining the precious land and habitat on the site.

Diane C.: I am very concerned that this site is even being considered. I trust you will ensure the transfer station is situated in a more appropriate place.

Deidre D.: This is absolutely the wrong location in this fertile historic valley. This would have a huge negative effect on business, residential and roads in this area.

Susan W.: I live up the hill from the proposed site at 28721 West Valley. It does not make sense to me to put a new dump site there when they can just put it near the existing site. The proposed site is too near neighborhoods and schools.

Doreen D.: Thank you for asking for input from those that you serve. It gives people a voice and a sense of involvement in their community as well as a belief that our elected officials are listening. With that being said, I would like to once again state my opposition to placing a transfer station in my backyard and in your backyard that you serve as well. . . Let’s reduce, reuse and remodel the current site in Algona.

Michael D.: Why are we still considering putting the transfer station at the North Auburn proposed site?  This option was not even on the table on the first round of “best locations.” Putting it here will impact the homeowners, wetland, and traffic in an already busy location.  The road cannot handle this, nor can the residents of northern Auburn.  It defies logic, so let’s be sensible and expand the Algona site.

Jeaninne W.:  We already have more traffic on West Valley Highway than it can handle in this area. Try driving this road the from 3-6 PM, the transfer station would add approximately 385 additional cars per day to the this road that is already congested. If you add an accident on 167 then  traffic detours to West Valley Highway. It will take hours for people to get through the congestion.

Cyndie K.: Please support the initiative to oppose this location.  I am a resident of Auburn and this area is close to many neighborhoods and will decrease the quality of life for many families. This area is obviously wetlands and the roads cannot support the kind of traffic associated with a DUMP. In addition, the cost is outrageous!!!

Myron L.: We should be conserving tax dollars, not spending them on this new project. There is sufficient land to expand the existing station [in Algona and it] would be a third as expensive.

Cindy F.: Building another supersized transfer station in Auburn is not the answer. A remodel of Algona and redirecting some of the hauled garbage is the responsible answer. Some garbage, such as Federal Way’s garbage, could be rerouted to Bow Lake. The current Algona site could be remodeled, and if needed, expansion could occur on the adjacent multi-acre property which King County Solid Waste already owns! King County Solid Waste estimated an Algona remodel would be approximately $10 Million. Remodeling Algona and redirecting garbage traffic so the system is balanced could mean building a transfer system that is functionally, environmentally and economically friendly. And King County could save over $100 million in capital costs!

John B.: A garbage transfer station is a harmful addition to the City of Auburn, for its citizens, business and property owners. We ask for the City of Auburn’s continued leadership opposing and protecting the City from the siting a garbage transfer station in North Auburn.

You can read the responses to Mayor Backus in their entirety here.