January 2017 Update
In May 2016 the City Council approved the use of eminent domain (condemnation) for acquisition of the Rite Aid property on NE 132nd Street. Condemnation proceedings can take up to a year to complete and City staff have continued outreach to the neighboring residents, businesses and schools to describe the project, the siting process and to answer questions and hear any concerns they may have. The community is invited to attend an informational meeting on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 pm at the Juanita Community Church at 10007 NE 132nd Street (southeast corner of NE 132nd Street and 100th Avenue NE). Staff from the City Manager’s Office, Fire Department and Public Works Transportation Division will be available to answer questions.
Following City Council adoption of a resolution setting a course for fire service to improve response times to 911 service calls, the Council and City staff have been taking steps necessary to move the plan forward.
In December 2015, the City Council approved the Capital Improvement Program that included funding for renovation of the Holmes Point Fire Station 25 on Finn Hill and purchase of property for a new Station 24 to be located in the vicinity of NE 132nd Street and 100th Avenue NE (near Juanita Elementary School).
Up to four residential properties were identified on the northeast corner of NE 132nd Street and 100th Avenue NE that could be suitable for a fire station. The owners of the residential properties were approached by a representative of the City regarding their interest in selling their property. A title search revealed the existence of a restrictive covenant that did now allow use of the properties for a fire station. The City abandoned the site and restarted inquiries with other surrounding properties.
City staff re-contacted the Juanita Community Church and the owner of the Rite Aid property. The City was unable to reach an acceptable arrangement with the Juanita Community Church congregation, however, the owner of the Rite Aid property did express an interest in selling that property. The map below shows the two parcels that hold Rite Aid and the Goodwill store. Both properties are owned by the same owner. If they City were to obtain the Rite Property, a new site plan would need to be developed to determine how the Rite Aid building would be used. City staff will work with Juanita Elementary School officials and parents to arrange for a safe crossing for students.
During this same period, City staff have been working with real estate professionals to identify possible locations for a new Station 27 (currently located on NE 132nd Street just west of I-405). The long range plan is to move the current Station 27 east of I-405 (north of Evergreen Hospital). The new Station 24 and relocated Station 27 should improve response capability throughout the City.
On February 24, 2016, the City Council held their annual retreat and one of the topics was a discussion about financing options for construction of the new stations and renovation of remaining older stations that are in need of seismic upgrades and other safety improvements. See staff memorandum. The City Council asked staff to prepare multiple financing scenarios for review at their May 24th retreat and a report was prepared for the May 24 retreat regarding a funding for station projects and a public process to better understand the community’s perceived needs for fire service improvements, the appropriate timing of the improvements and funding mechanisms including a potential ballot measure for 2018. For more information:
Read the May 2016 staff reports regarding station financing and a public process for discussing fire and emergency services needs and funding.
Read the November 2015 update "City Council sets course for fire and EMS service improvements and new and renovated fire stations"
Read background information on the City's efforts to evaluate service improvements, including the "dual station"