King County Councilmembers Reagan Dunn, Rod Dembowski, and Pete von Reichbauer on Thursday introduced legislation that would call on the Washington State Department of Transportation to remove the proposed Enumclaw location from consideration for a future airport.
King County Councilmembers Reagan Dunn, Rod Dembowski, and Pete von Reichbauer on Thursday introduced legislation that would call on the Washington State Department of Transportation to remove the proposed Enumclaw location from consideration for a future airport. The motion comes in response to public outcry from surrounding cities and residents after the Greenfield site was proposed by an independent State consultant to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission.
“Placing, or even proposing, an airport in the Southeast King County Enumclaw area would be a legal, environmental, and planning disaster,” Dunn said. “Consideration of a King County site has brought together a broad coalition of community and local elected leaders in opposition. We want to send a unified message to the State that having an airport in the area that they proposed will not be entertained.”
In 2019, Substitute Senate Bill 5370 established the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission to make recommendations for a new airport site, but explicitly excluded King County from consideration.
"King County has worked for decades to protect the farmlands and open spaces of the Enumclaw Plateau. This is no place for a major new commercial airport" said Dembowski, who chairs the Council's Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee.
“King County is fortunate to have a number of airports serving a wide variety of people,” said von Reichbauer, who serves as vice-chair of the Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee. “However, as South King County is already home to airports located in SeaTac, Renton, and Auburn, the siting of a fourth airport in Enumclaw would place a disproportionate aviation burden on the South Sound region, and I urge WSDOT to look elsewhere.”
If passed by the King County Council, motion would call on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), which has been tasked by the state Legislature to find and propose a new airport location, to remove the proposed airport location in the Enumclaw agricultural area from consideration in the Washington Aviation Plan. While King County cannot officially block WSDOT from proposing an airport within County limits, this legislation would be the first unified and official opinion of County leaders to WSDOT on the matter.
This legislation will be heard by the Council’s Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee in the coming weeks.