Neighbors feel 'blindsided' by transit development near Northgate | KUOW News and Information

Neighbors feel 'blindsided' by transit development near Northgate

Jun 23, 2016

Irene Beausoleil and her husband recently moved to Pinehurst, just north of Northgate. She went to her very first community meeting just this week.

Beausoleil: “It’s the first time I found a community where I wanted to participate. Because I knew that I would be here for awhile. And it was at this meeting that I learned that there’s a very good chance that my house will be knocked down.”


Once again, big changes are coming to the neighborhood. This time because of Sound Transit. 

Claudia Balducci is on the King County Council and the Sound Transit Board. She says, in previous decades, Sound Transit wasn’t as involved in neighborhood planning. She's been trying to change that.

Balducci: “ST3 is a leap ahead in that we are going to be thinking from the very beginning how we can play our part to develop a lot of housing around the transit that we are building up.”

Transit just works better when more people live close to the stations. 

King County Exec Dow Constantine celebrates the Sound Transit Board's approval of a ST3 package for the fall ballot. Board member Claudia Balducci says Sound Transit used to be weak. It kept its head down and just laid tracks. With each ballot measure, the agency has gained strength and the ability to influence the shape of neighborhoods around stations.
Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Irene Beausoleil lives near a proposed infill station at NE 130th Street.  

Sound Transit would not be directly responsible for the loss of Beausoleil's home. Many stakeholders will play a part: Sound Transit, with its influence, the city of Seattle, which would implement the zoning changes, and voters, who must first approve ST3. Beausoleil's family may even profit by selling the home to a developer. 

But Beausoleil didn't want any of that, when she moved to Pinehurst. She feels blindsided.

Beausoleil: “It’s my home. It’s not a matter of just being afraid of change."

It’s not just her home, it’s the community she’d lose. And we can expect changes like that around stations throughout the region.

Voters will decide on the $54 billion  Sound Transit package this fall.