SEA-TAC INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IMPACT MITIGATION STUDY

Initial Assessment and Recommendations
February 1997
Prepared Under a Grant from the State of Washington administered by Washington State's Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development for the:


City of Burien, Washington
City of Des Moines, Washington
City of Federal Way, Washington
City of Normandy Park, Washington
Highline School District
Highline Community Hospital


Prepared by:
Helmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc. - Dallas, Texas
Raytheon Infrastructure Services, Inc. - Denver and Philadelphia

In Association With:
Thomas/Lane & Associates, Inc. - Seattle, Washington
Michael J. McCormick, AICP - Olympia, Washington


Originally converted to HTML without change by RCAA volunteers for http://www.rcaanews.org/rcaa
and subsequently reformatted at www.wenet.net/~hpb.


Section 9
POTENTIAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS AND MITIGATION


9.12 - MITIGATION OF SEA-TAC'S ADVERSE IMPACTS

The expansion of Sea-Tac International Airport will produce adverse socio-economic impacts on both households and communities in its immediate environment. Section 9.12 discusses appropriate mitigation measures for both types of impacts in three categories of mitigation: mitigation based on tax base change, mitigation based on service level changes, and mitigation based on other changes. Mitigation measures are divided into the following types:

Tax Base Changes

Depressed Property Values
Reduced School Revenues
Reduced Local Government Revenues
Land Use Changes

Service Level Changes

Public Safety
Community Cultural Services
Community Social Services
Educational Services
Health Services

Other Socio-Economic Impacts

Environmental justice
Quality of Life
Economic Development


9.13 - TAX BASE CHANGES

Depressed Property Values

The primary impact on households will be the decline in the relative value of residential property caused by Sea-Tac International Airports expanded operations after the Year 2000 as will result from construction of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities. Table 9.16 reports the average relative decline in housing values for each of the five impacted cities for the Years 2000 to 2020. (the data in Table 9.16 are derived from Table 9.03.)


TABLE 9.16
Average Housing Unit's Relative Decline in Value
Caused by Sea-Tac's Expansion

Year Burien Des Moines Federal Way Normandy Park Tukwila

2000- - - -- -- -- -
2001-$1,318-$1,380-$I,450 -$1,761-$1,242
2002-$2,636-$2,761-$2,899 -$3,522-$2,484
2003-$3,954-$4,141-$4,349 -$5,283-$3,727
2004-$5,271-$5,522-$5,798 -$7,044-$4,969
2005-$6,589-$6,902-$7,248 -$8,805-$6,211
2006-$7,907-$8,283-$8,697 -$10,566-$7,453
2007-$9,225-$9,663-$10,147 -$12,327-$8,696
2008-$10,543-$11,044-$11,596 -$14,088-$9,938
2009-$11,861-$12,424-$13,046 -$15,849-$11,180
2010-$13,179-$13,804-$14,496 -$17,610-$12,422
2011-$14,497-$15,185-$15,945 -$19,371-$13,664
2012-$15,815-$16,565-$17,395 -$21,132-$14,907
2013-$17,133-$17,946-$18,844 -$22,893-$16,149
2014-$18,450-$19,126-$20.294 -$24,654-$17,391
2015-$19,768-$20,707-$21,743 -$26,416-$18.633
2016-$21,086-$22,087-$23,193 -$28,177-$19,875
2017-$22,404-$23,468-$24,642 -$29,938-$21,118
2018-$23,722-$24.848-$26,092 -$31,699-$22,360
2019-$25.040-$26,228-$27,542 -$33,460-$23,602
2020-$26,3S6-$27,609-$28,891 -$35.221-$24,844
Average-$13,179-$11,804 -$14,496-$17,610-$12,422


Between the Years 2000 and 2020, the average residential housing unit (land plus structure) in Burien is expected to experience a relative decline of $26,356 (expressed in constant value 1995 dollars). For the City of Des Moines the comparable number is $27,609; for Federal Way it is $28,891; for Normandy Park it is $35,221; and for Tukwila it is $24,844.

To make residents of the five impacted cities whole, each household would receive the equivalent of a 20-year annuity where the sum of the annuity's payments equals the relative loss of the property value. In Burien, for example, each affected household would receive an annual payment such that the sum of the payments from the Year 2000 to 2020 discounted for real time preference would equal $26,356,

Having the Port of Seattle contribute an amount equal to the above described annual annuity payment toward the payment of a householder's annual property taxes would have the same effect as giving each householder an annuity, It would have the additional benefit of attaching the mitigating action to the property that's being impacted rather than to the householders residing on the property. Further, market forces should increase the value of the properly by the discounted present value of the annuity's payment stream (the Port's contribution to the property's tax obligations). and this increase in property values will increase revenues to the five imparted cities -- thus mitigating the cities' revenue shortfalls at the same time.

As mitigation for the loss of relative residential property values by homeowners, it is recommended that the Port of Seattle make a partial payment of property taxes for homeowners in the five impacted cities, the amount of the partial payment equal to an annuity the present value of whose payments equals the property's loss of relative value caused by expansion of the Airport.

The approximate amount of such payments is shown in Table 9.17 along with the estimated avenge annual cost to the Port. The numbers in Table 9.17 are a mitigation guideline and will have to be modified to account for differences between the average value of all housing units in a city and the actual value of specific properties and adjustment for inflation during the 20-year period between the Years 2000 and 2020. The table uses a real interest rate of 4% for its calculations. During 1995, the interest rate on a 30-year government bond was around 6.5% and the rate of inflation was around 2.5%, yielding a real rate of interest for long term assets of around 4%.


TABLE 9.17
Estimated Cost of Mitigating Residential Housing Unit Property Losses




Community
Contribution by
Port to Average
Residential Property's Tax Obligation
Average Number
of Impacted
Single-family
Housing Units


Total Cost to
Port of Seattle

Burien$88517,890 DU$15,832,650
Des Moines$9276,197 DU$5,744,619
Federal Way$97312,392 DU$12,057,416
Normandy Park$1,1822,577 DU$3,046,014
Tukwila$8344,866 DU$4,058,244
Total$40,738,143


Reduced School Revenues

Reduced school revenues will result from the relative decline in residential property values caused by expansion of Sea-Tac International Airport after the Year 2000. If the Port of Seattle undertakes a program of making partial property tax payment for residential proper-ties in the affected cities, market forces will bid up the price of these properties and off-set the relative declines that would otherwise occur. Consequently, there would be no reduction in school revenues (increases in levy rates) and no additional mitigation would be required.

If the Port of Seattle does not mitigate the relative decline in residential property values caused by the Third Runway and related Airport facilities, the Highline School District will experience revenue shortfalls, compared to what would have occurred had the Airport not expanded. The estimation of these revenue shortfalls is complex and needs to account for both the business personal property tax receipts generated by the Airport to the School District and Washington State's educational funding formulas. It was beyond the budget and scope of this study, but the full effects should be calculated.

It is recommended that a detailed analysis of the likely shortfall in Highline School District's property tax base that will result from construction of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities be conducted.


Reduced Local Government Revenues

Reduced local government revenues will result from the relative decline in residential property values caused by expansion of Sea-Tac International Airport after the Year 2000. If the Port Of Seattle undertakes a program of making partial property tax payment for residential properties in the affected cities, market forces will bid up the price of these properties and offset the relative declines that would other-wise occur. Consequently, there would be no reduction in local government revenues and no additional mitigation would be required.

If the Port of Seattle does not mitigate the relative decline in residential property values caused by the Third Runway and related Airport facilities, the city governments of Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park and Tukwila will experience revenue shortfalls, compared to what would have occurred had the Airport not expanded. The cumulative revenue losses to all five impacted cities from all Third Runway related impacts will be $38.8 million (in constant value 1995 dollars), ranging from an annual revenue loss of $1.7 million during the first year after the Third Runway goes into operation to an annual revenue loss of $2.2 million in the Year 2020.

If the Port of Seattle does not take action to mitigate the decline in relative residential property values by making partial property tax payments to homeowners, it is recommended that the Port of Seattle make annual offsetting payments to each of the five impacted cities to compensate them for the relative declines in residential property values caused by construction of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities.

The magnitude of the off-setting payments should be determined by each city's revenue losses. Table 9.18 presents estimates of these revenue losses.


TABLE 9.18
Estimated Revenue Loss Off-Setting Mitigation Payments






Community
Total Revenue Losses from Average Annual Community Relative Declines In Yearly Decline Tax Revenue Loss Single Family in Single-Family Off-Setting Property Value Property Values Mitigation
Average
Yearly Decline
in Single-Family
Property Values
2000-2009
Annual
Tax Revenue Loss
Off-Setting
Mitigation
Payments

Burien-$14,191,858-$709,592$709,592
Des Moines-$6,389,351-$319,468$319,468
Federal Way-$11,611,022-$580,551 $580,551
Normandy Park-$2.813,667-$140,683 $140,683
Tukwila-$3,747,651-$187,383$187,383


Land Use Changes

Land use changes in the form of a shift from owner occupied to renter occupied residential properties will result from the relative decline in residential property values caused by expansion of Sea-Tac lnternational Airport after the Year 2000. If the Port of Seattle undertakes a program of making partial property tax payments for residential properties in the affected cities, market forces will bid up the price Of the,, properties and off-set the relative declines that would otherwise occur, Consequently, there would be no market pressure for shifts in land use patterns and no additional mitigation would be required.

If the Port of Seattle does nor mitigate the relative decline in residential property values caused by the Third Runway and related Airport facilities, there will be a need to mitigate the affects of having more transient residents living in the five impacted cities.

It is recommended a revolving "Home Ownership Loan Fund" be established to facilitate the movement of persons living in Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park and Tukwila from renter to owner housing tenure status.

Additional analysis will be required to determine the size of the loan fund, but a rough estimate of assistance provided to approximately 500 households a year in achieving home ownership status would indicate the sue of the fund should be in the range of $15 million to $25 million. It is assumed that the home ownership program would operate through loan guarantees and the majority of the funding would be provided through private financial institutions.


9.14 - SERVICE LEVEL CHANGES

Expansion of Sea-Tac International Airport through construction of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities will increase the proportion of renters among residents of the five impacted cities. As a result, the cities will experience a shift in population toward younger, lower income and more mobile households, This shift will require an increase in community services if the cities are to retain the quality of life they had in the past.

Public Safety

Public safety requirements will increase for all five of the impacted cities. The Cities of Burien, Des Moines and Tukwila will have the greatest requirements for additional neighborhood patrolling by uniformed police officers. The growth of operations at Sea-Tac International Airport after the Year 2000 will particularly impact the City of Tukwila where Airport-induced neighborhood decline is already advanced on Pacific Highway South and will continue to worsen,

It is recommended that as part of the mitigation of the Third RUnway and related Ariprt facilities at Sea-Tac International Airport there be a program whereby the Port of Seattle reimburses the Cities of Burien, Des Moines and Tukwila for the additional public safety requirements they will experience.


Community Cultural Services

Given the demographic shift expected to occur in the five impacted cities as a result of construction of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities, the continuance of their quality of life will require an enrichment of the cultural resources available to their residents. In particular, it will be important to expand the availability of central meeting places such as parks, libraries and community centers where new residents can meet their neighbors and become integrated into their communities. The greatest needs will occur in The Cities of Burien, Des Moines and Tukwila, although significant, but lesser, pressure for additional community cultural resources will be experienced in the cities of Federal Way and Normandy Park.

It is recommended that each of the five impacted cities draw-up a cultural resources enhancement plan specifically directed toward meeting the quality of life challenge that hte Third RUnway and related Airport faciliites, will impase, and that the actions identified as needed in each city's cultural resources enhancement plan be funded as part of the mitigation of the construction of the Third Runway and related Airport improvements.

Community Social Services

Community social services such as day care and after school care, elderly centers, family counseling services, work training and job search counseling will all be required in the five impacted cities that were the focus of the Sea-Tac International Airport Mitigation Impact Study. Over and above the needs for such services that a growing population will require, the demographic shift caused by the increase in Sea-Tac International Airport operations that will be made possible by expansion of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities, will cause an expanded growth in demand for social services. If the impacted cities are only able to provide increased social services in proportion to their population growth, and are not able to provide for the additional social services made necessary by construction of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities, their quality of life will be progressively diminished after the Year 2000.

It is recommended that the five impacted communnities develop a southwest King County integrated community social service resource and delivery plan and that the plan, once developed, be funded as part of the mitigation of the Third Runway's impacts.


Educational Services

There will be a need to enrich classroom learning experiences in order to mitigate demographic shift among the Highline School District students that will be caused by the Third Runway and related Airport facilities. To determine the best mitigation measures, quantitative research needs to be conducted on the affects of shifting demographic profiles on student classroom performance. After which, appropriate mitigation policies need to be formulated by educational professionals within the District- Some of these policies will likely include reduced student/teacher ratios, increased teacher support staff in classrooms, creation of enriched curricula, and use of additional teaching materials. Regardless of which or how many of these types of mitigation actions wail be determined as appropriate for the task of maintaining the Highline School District's traditional quality of education outcomes, it is evident that the District will require additional resources to mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities.

It is recommended that additional research be undertaken to develop quantitative estimates of the relationship between demographic shifts in the Highline School District's student population, levels of student performance and appropriate mitigation measures to maintain the District's traditional qulity of education outcomes; and that such measures be funded as part of the mitigation of the Third Runway's impacts.


Health Services

High levels of concern have been expressed by citizens and community leaders from the five impacted cities about the deleterious affects the Airport now has on the health of families living in its immediate environment, If such concerns are demonstrated as warranted, they would apply forcefully to the expansion of Airport operations that will occur as a result of building the Third Runway and related Airport facilities. A public health evaluation and assessment of the Airport was outside the scope and budget of this study.

It is recommended that the School of Public Health at the University be funded to conduct an Airport health impact assissment, and that if the assessment finds a positive coorelation between adverse health impacts and levels of Airport operation, appropriate measures to mitigate these effects be funded.


9.15 - OTHER SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS

Environmental Justice

Parts of the City of Burien that are the home of an ethnically diverse population will be impacted by Sea-Tac International Airport's expansion that construction of the Third Runway and related facilities will allow.

It is recommended that a monitoring system be established and operated in the area to the north of the Airport which will be under the approach/departure flight track for the Third Runway to insure that the intent of federal Executive Order 12898, "Environmental Justice" are met.


Quality of Life

Most of the issues surrounding the socioeconomic impact of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities, on neighboring Communities involves their quality of life and the manner in which expansion of operations at the Airport will cause it to be degraded. The quality of life issue is central to understanding the socioeconomic impacts of the Third Runway and developing effective mitigation strategies. This issue needs to be approached in a straight forward manner, and the development of prototype quality of life indicator systems, both nationally and in the Puget Sound Region, should make this possible.

It is recommended that a quality of life indicator model be created for the five impacted cities and for areas in Northwest King County which are appropriate as a comparison area; the indicator model be estimated for data at least as far back as 1960 for both the impacted and comparison cities; that it be used to identify changes in the impacted cities' relative quality of life over time, the major quality of life indicators which contributed to the decline; and the quality of life indicator model become the basis for identifying needed socio-economic mitigation measures for the Third Runway and related Airport facilities.


Economic Development

Many of the adverse impacts of the Third Runway and related Airport facilities have to do with the direct, indirect or induced relative declines in property values that occur when Airport operations increase. One strategy for mitigating these property value impacts is to direct to the maximum extent, feasible airport economic functions into the five impacted cities. For example, if Sea-Tac International Airport's proposed new hotel were located in Burien or Des Moines instead of on Airport lands there would be a positive (mitigating) result. Equally, if the Airport were to construct a haul road for all air cargo movements which exited on the west side of the Airport, it is highly likely that new warehousing and distribution facilities would spring-up; and the increased value of economic activity thus resulting would mitigate the Third Runway's otherwise adverse impacts. In many ways, a mitigation strategy which depends, at least in part, on economic development enhancing actions is preferable to alternative types of mitigation since it uses market forces rather than government spending or regulation as its implementing force.

It is recommended that an economic and engineering assessment of Airport operations be conducted to determine Airport functions which would have positive economic development benefits and could be shifted to the five impacted cities.