Sound Transit’s Capital Committee declines to state preference on maintenance facility site, leaves decision up to the full Board

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omsf graphicSound Transit’s Capital Committee unanimously voted not to state a preference for the location of the Link Operations Maintenance Satellite Facility (OMSF) Thursday afternoon and left it up to the full Sound Transit Board to decide on a preferred alternative at its July 24 meeting.

Four sites are under consideration for the proposed OMSF. One site in Lynnwood would be located north of I-5 and east of the 52nd Avenue West/Cedar Valley Road intersection at 204th Street Southwest. Three other sites in Bellevue also are under consideration by Sound Transit.

It appears that the Capital Committee was focused more on the sites in Bellevue rather than in Lynnwood.

Committee member Dave Earling, who is the Mayor of Edmonds, said that he personally was learning toward one of the three sites in Bellevue (BNSF). Another Committee member asked about and was told by a Sound Transit staffer that the Lynnwood site would be near to a single-family neighborhood.

“I’m very hopeful that Lynnwood will not host the OMSF,” Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith said after the Capital Committee made its decision.

The Lynnwood property is owned by the Edmonds School District and the District has plans to relocate its maintenance and transportation operations to the site.

“If you look at the Draft EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), you have to come to the conclusion that Lynnwood is not the place,” Edmonds School District Executive Director of Business and Operations Stewart Mhyre said.

The annual on-going costs of the Lynnwood site are the most expensive of the four options and Lynnwood would require off-site storage tracks. Sound Transit also would be unable to meet its service goals for headways in the evenings under the plan.

Sound Transit has designated three potential OMSF sites in Bellevue: BNSF, BNSF Modified and SR 520. The BNSF site would be located between the Eastside Rail Corridor on the west and 120th Avenue NE on the east, south of SR 520 and north of NE 12th Street.

In the BNSF Modified, the OMSF would be built on both sides of the Eastside Rail Corridor west of 120th Avenue NE., south of SR 520 and north of NW 12th Street. The SR 520 site would be constructed south of SR 520 and north of Northrup Way/NE 20th Street, east of 130th Avenue NE and west of 140th Avenue NE.

Objections raised by Bellevue residents include that siting the OMSF there would be inconsistent with the community vision and the City’s comprehensive planning. The OMSF also would not support the public and private investment already occurring in the Bel-Red corridor and that it could result in the loss of millions of dollars of local revenue based on the anticipated development, particularly in the areas around the light rail stations.

Committee members acknowledged that siting of the OMSF was going to be a difficult decision and that all four sites had serious impacts on their respective communities. The sentiment was that all of the sites have problems.

In the end, the Capital Committee decided it was best to have the full Sound Transit Board decide the matter. Both Earling and Chair Fred Butler both indicated that they felt the Board would have enough information to make a siting decision at its July 24 meeting.

“We know that a decision is more of a regional decision,” said Lynnwood Economic Development Director David Kleitsch. “But the conversation of the Committee really was focused more on Bellevue than Lynnwood.”

-By David Pan

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