July 12, 2013: Westmark has offered a possible settlement that could significantly improve the protection for the Park and the wetlands.
The Hearing on the NoSP appeal of the clearing permit for Emerald Pointe/Westmark started on July 8, 2013. After a day of testimony focused on NoSP expert witnesses, the second day focused on Westmark witnesses. At the very end of the second day an unexpected offer was made by Westmark to significantly reduce the scope of the Emerald Pointe Development. The two residential buildings closest to the Park and Wetlands would be eliminated. The clubhouse between them, and a nearby garbage dumpster pad would be relocated uphill, and the associated swimming pool would be eliminated. This would greatly increase the buffer between Emerald Pointe and the wetlands. To compensate for the loss of the units in these two buildings the rest of the buildings would be redesigned to consist of studios and 1 and 2 bedroom units and eliminate all 3 bedroom units. Total number of units would remain at 178, but they would be smaller with fewer common amenities.
The Examiner directed Westmark to provide a written description of the changes by the close of business on July 15, 2013. The city and NoSP are to respond by July 22, 2013. The dates next week which had been reserved for continuation of the evidentiary hearing were stricken. If the revisions do not render the appeal moot, the plan is to resume the evidentiary hearing by August 15, 2013.
According to NoSP volunteer Janis Freudenthal: "We will evaluate the proposal carefully with the help of our experts. There now are a whole new set of questions that need to be answered. The adequacy of the Environmental Impact Statement is the heart of our case. Despite the revisions, the project is still in landslide hazard and wetlands critical areas. We will not be rushed in to a decision."
Please see our News page for more information.
Neighbors of Seahurst Park needs donations to pay attorney costs, court fees for filing appeals, and technical consultants to contest the Westmark Project. Please check to see if your employer will match your donation.
As we fight to save our park this effort requires the support of many people and may take several years. While large donations would be greatly appreciated, we know that the backbone of this effort will be many people contributing small amounts. All contributions are sincerely appreciated. We ask people who use any sort of online payments to consider setting up a monthly automatic recurring donation. Monthly support of $10, $15 or $25 dollars from enough people can make a huge difference as we move forward with this fight. If you are unable to support the effort financially, please consider volunteering.
On April 1, 2013 Neighbors of Seahurst Park filed a Land Use Petition trying to stop Westmark from clearing the land.
On March 11, 2013 the City of Burien issued the first permit for construction on the Emerald Pointe on the Sound Project. Your Volunteers at Neighbors of Seahurst Park along with our legal team have been working together to determine our best course of action.
We encourage you to watch this site often for updates and BREAKING NEWS! Please see our News page for
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead
Here's your chance to see the beach at Seahurst Park after dark. Twice a year (usually in December and January) the Environmental Science Center, along with the City of Burien and People for Puget Sound sponsor Moonlight Beach Walks in Seahurst Park. They are scheduled to match combined Full Moons and minus low tides on both dates, so there is always lots to look at. The Environmental Science Center has Beach Naturalists available to answer questions and guide walkers on the beach. Details are on the Environmental Science Center website. These events get more popular every year.
Seahurst Park is 175 acres of dense second growth forest, beach front, and wetland in Burien, Washington. It is home to a large wildlife population including many bird species, and is bounded on the west by approximately a mile of Puget Sound shoreline. The upper end of the Park is the North Creek Basin, which contains a wetland covering about 30 acres. The Westmark Corporation is planning to build a 178 unit condominium complex on 9.8 acres it owns adjacent to the east edge of the North Creek basin. Westmark filed initial permits to build on this property in February 1990. That makes the Project vested under at least some building regulations from 1990. Westmark contends that that includes 1990 SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) regulations which means that Westmark would be allowed to use environmental regulations in effect in 1990 and ignore the most current laws that incorporate much that has been learned since then about building in or near sensitive areas.
The Seahurst Park wetland borders the Westmark property and actually extends into the proposed building site on one corner. This Google Map shows the approximate boundaries of the wetland and the planned development. Seahurstpark.org has an explanation of what's on the map.
The primary goal of Neighbors of Seahurst Park is to protect the wetlands in Seahurst Park. Damage to this wetland will eventually result in damage to North Creek (which starts in and flows through the wetland area) and other parts of the Park including the Salmon Hatchery, the Marine Technology Center operated by the Highline School District, the beach, and even Puget Sound, ALL located directly below the wetland area.
On June 10, 2008 the City of Burien released the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) for the
Westmark Development Project; Emerald Pointe on the Sound. On June 20, 2008 Neighbors of Seahurst Park filed an appeal of the Final Environmental Impact Statement with the City of Burien.
Please see our News page for details and updates.
Neighbors of Seahurst Park
13229 12th Ave. SW #212
Burien, WA 98146