Growth board to take up local comprehensive plans

What do Index, SeaTac, Beaux Arts Village and Federal Way have in common?

Celebration Park in Federal Way, one of the cities with a new comprehensive plan.

Celebration Park in Federal Way. The city’s comprehensive plan is ready for certification.

They’re among the communities that have new comprehensive plans ready for action by the Growth Management Policy Board this week.

Recommended for full certification are plans for Algona, Beaux Arts Village, Des Moines, Federal Way, Gold Bar, Hunts Point, Index, SeaTac, and Skykomish.

The board will also act on a recommendation to conditionally certify plans for Newcastle, Orting, and Wilkeson. Conditional certification means that a plan addresses most of the requirements, but needs to address a limited set of issues before full certification.

PSRC is responsible for certifying that local comprehensive plans are consistent with the transportation provisions of the Growth Management Act, as well as VISION 2040, and Transportation 2040.

The growth board meeting will also include a briefing on the ST3 system plan process, and a presentation on ways to help cities address stormwater while promoting growth in centers.

The board meets from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in PSRC’s Board Room. The full agenda is available here.

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Grand opening for Smart Building Center

Want to learn more about smart building technologies and how they can save money and energy?

The region's new Smart Building Center opens October 27.

The region’s new Smart Building Center opens October 27.

The region has added a new resource – the Smart Buildings Center.

It has found a permanent home in the newly renovated Pacific Tower on Beacon Hill in Seattle and will host its Grand Opening on October 27. Register soon because there is limited availability at this free event.

The Smart Buildings Center is designed to spur collaboration and innovation throughout the energy efficiency sector. The Center includes a new meeting and training space, informational displays on products, and a free Tool Lending Library to allow building owners to test out products before purchasing.

The creation of the Smart Buildings Center was partially funded by the i6 Green Challenge Grant, which came out of PSRC’s work to support the clean technology sector. 

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Affordable housing next to transit gets “deliberate” boost

As Sound Transit’s boring machines were churning a new light rail route to Northgate, King County Executive Dow Constantine embraced a trio of intiatives this morning that will help turn a parking lot at Northgate into a community, and shape growth throughout the region.

Northgate_TOD_graphic

King County’s Park and Ride lot at Northgate will be replaced by a new community with the arrival of light rail.

“Light rail has the power to transform communities. With this vision we can be deliberate about creating vibrant, walkable, economically diverse neighborhoods around new and existing stations,” said Constantine, who doubles as Chair of the Sound Transit Board.

Constantine’s Transit Station Housing and Development Initiative includes:

  • King County Housing Bonds
    As much as $45 million over the next six years would be generated under new authority from the Legislature to use anticipated lodging tax revenue sooner than expected.
  • REDI Fund
    At least $18 million is currently pledged to a new revolving loan fund called the Regional Equitable Development Initiative due to launch early next year.
  • Sound Transit 3 ballot measure
    The state authorized ST3 with a proviso for an additional $20 million for a revolving loan fund, like  the REDI fund, should ST3 pass.
Dow Northgate

King County Executive Dow Constantine: “Light rail has the power to transform communities.”

“Working together at the state, regional, and local level, we can help catalyze developments to maximize our investment in regional light rail,” said State Representative Jessyn Farrell.

Tunneling is underway for light rail service scheduled for Northgate in 2021.

 

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Zombies from Spokane in Bremerton

The Kitsap Sun has the story.

Zombie

Stunt performer Keith Cox on the set of Z Nation in Spokane. (Washington Filmworks)

Zombies are in Bremerton due to a connection made by Bremerton City Councilmember Dino Davis on visit to Eastern Washington last month

Tomorrow a crew from the SyFy Network’s Z Nation – a television series based in Spokane – will start filming on the USS Turner Joy in Bremerton.

Councilmember Davis made the connection on a study mission co-sponsored by the PSRC to promote statewide relationships in economic development.

On the set of Z Nation, Davis heard they were looking for a Navy ship.

“I know a guy,” Davis responded.

The study mission included stops in Moses Lake, Spokane and Pullman – and explored regional linkages between topics including carbon materials, Washington State University, clean technology, filmmaking and more.

Z Nation is growing a lot of jobs in Spokane due to a state sponsored incentive program run by Washington Filmworks.

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New opportunities for transit oriented development

What new opportunities for equitable transit oriented development are possible in the region’s burgeoning station areas?

King County Executive Dow Constantine previewed his new Regional Transit-Oriented Development Initiative at the event.

King County Executive Dow Constantine previewed his new Regional Transit Oriented Development Initiative at the event.

More than 100 regional leaders met in Redmond yesterday to discuss ways to partner and improve the market for transit oriented development.

“You’ve been working on something that is very close to my own heart – the intersection of land use and transportation – and doing it right,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine, adding with a smile “That may be one of the nerdiest things I’ve ever said.”

Executive Constantine spoke about how far the region has come since Sound Transit was first approved in 1996 pointing out the transformation of neighborhoods into a more vibrant mix of housing, activities, and job centers.

He also highlighted the importance of continuing the work with his new Regional Transit Oriented Development Initiative, which will seek to expand affordable housing opportunities in station areas.

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Countdown to start of Link service to UW

It’s the final countdown for new light rail service between Husky Stadium and downtown Seattle.  Once service opens in early 2016, the trip will take just 8 minutes.

Image from Sound Transit video of light rail service from Capitol Hill to UW

This mesmerizing video shows what a ride between Capitol Hill and UW will be like on the train (click the image to open the video).

To get ready for the launch, Sound Transit will start testing more frequent train service – every six minutes most of the day – in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel on September 28.

Six Metro buses – the 76, 77, 216, 218, 219, and 316  – will be rerouted from the tunnel to bus stops on surface streets.

The reroutes are just some of the other major Metro service changes happening, including expansion of service on many routes.

At the same time Sound Transit is building out the current ST2 plan, the agency is developing the ST3 ballot measure, which would potentially go before voters in November 2016.

Sound Transit gave an update to PSRC’s Transportation Policy Board earlier this month on the status of ST3 planning and the list of candidate projects.

The Puget Sound Regional Council is responsible for determining whether ST3 conforms to the region’s long-range transportation plan, Transportation 2040, and the regional growth strategy, VISION 2040.

Once the Sound Transit Board has adopted the ST3 system plan, and before the ST3 ballot measure is voted on in November 2016, PSRC’s Executive Board will take action on ST3 System Plan conformance.

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Composite recycling technology center breaks ground

From airplanes to fishing rods, super-strong ultra-light carbon composites are showing up everywhere.

Breaking ground with composite shovels at the new recycling center in Port Angeles.

Breaking ground with composite shovels at the new recycling center in Port Angeles.

But not in landfills.

Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Derek Kilmer, industry and education leaders broke ground this week in Port Angeles for the Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC), which will convert scrap carbon composite into new products.

At the same time, the center will train workers, serve as a manufacturing incubator and research facility.

The project, led by the Port of Port Angeles, was able to attract $2 million in funding from the US Economic Development Administration because it was able to take advantage of the federal Manufacturing Community designation administered by PSRC.

The governor led the groundbreaking with a shovel made of recycled carbon fiber.

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