School district, Sound Transit want same property

LYNNWOOD — A potential tug of war between Sound Transit and the Edmonds School District over a piece of property is scheduled to be discussed at public meetings in the coming week.

Sound Transit is studying a 20-acre area for a possible train storage yard as part of the agency’s plans to extend light rail to Lynnwood by 2023.

The Edmonds School District owns most of the property being studied, along 52nd Avenue W. near I-5, and plans to use the land for a new administration building and bus barn.

The meetings have been scheduled for Saturday morning and Tuesday evening to update the public. The city will host the meetings and Sound Transit staff are expected to attend.

Light rail is scheduled to be extended to Bellevue also by 2023, and Sound Transit will need a place to store 80 more trains on either the northern or eastern route. About 100 cars currently spend their off hours in a rail yard in Seattle’s Sodo district.

The current estimated cost is about $250 million, regardless of location.

Neighbors of the Lynnwood site have been fighting the idea, citing potential noise, bright lights and even concerns about crime.

Most of the property in question is vacant. Cedar Valley Community School was located there for years. The buildings were torn down in 2001 and the school was relocated.

The school district’s plan was approved by the Lynnwood City Council several years ago, Lynnwood community development director Paul Krauss said.

Last fall, the city asked Sound Transit to remove the Lynnwood site for consideration for the maintenance and storage yard. Sound Transit did not comply.

“That site has a number of serious flaws, the most significant of which it’s across the street from hundreds of single family homes,” Krauss said.

Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray said the agency didn’t remove the site because it was in the middle of an environmental study that’s looking at all four sites, including the three in Bellevue. That draft study is expected to continue for several more months, he said.

The school district’s plans are being considered in the study as a factor, Gray said.

“All those factors we have to take into account as we get further along in this process,” he said.

If it turns out that Sound Transit wants the property, it’s unclear how the decision will be made between the agency’s plans and those of the school district.

“It’s way too early for me to speculate how that would work,” Gray said.

The meetings also will address three possible rail alignments from I-5 to the Lynnwood park-and-ride lot, also in the area of 52nd Avenue W. An environmental study on those plans is scheduled to be released within a few weeks.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

Meetings

Two meetings regarding Sound Transit’s future rail plans in Lynnwood are scheduled for Saturday and Tuesday. Light rail alignments and a possible rail storage yard are the topics. The first meeting is scheduled for 10 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W, Lynnwood. The second is from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Tuesday at Meadowdale High School Great Hall, 6002 168th St. SW.

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