North Shore controversy draws a crowd

By ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

Northeast Tacoma residents packed Federal Way City Hall this past Tuesday to voice their views on a proposed 860-home development at the North Shore Golf Course.

The controversial site sits just outside the Federal Way border in Northeast Tacoma. Those living in surrounding neighborhoods including Stonebrook are concerned about the increased congestion and environmental impact the development will bring to the area.

Federal Way is interested in how the Tacoma project will affect open space, storm water drainage and traffic. At the Nov. 6 council meeting, public works director Cary Roe presented a detailed analysis of the development’s impact on Federal Way roads.

Among the top concerns included Tacoma’s use of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that is more than 25 years old. Tacoma supplemented the archaic EIS with current information when addressing the development.

Roe suggested the possibility of Federal Way seeking its own EIS on the development site. A separate EIS would not stop the project. However, the study would identify the site’s impacts on Federal Way based on today’s state regulations. It would also present possible mitigation that could alleviate some of the headaches residents think the development will cause.

The city has two avenues to influence the project’s outcome, Roe said. One option includes submitting concerns to Tacoma later this month; the other option involves direct negotiations with Northshore Investors LLC, the project’s developer.

In the end, any action taken by Federal Way is up to City Council to decide, Roe said.

Deputy Mayor Jim Ferrell wants Federal Way to push for an EIS that’s based on modern data. During the public comment portion at Tuesday’s meeting, several NE Tacoma residents urged the City Council to take aggressive action.

“I have some real concerns about the impact on Federal Way,” Ferrell said. “I want to make sure that we have a full understanding.”

Contact writer: or (253) 925-5565.


Extra info:

According to, a significant portion of Northeast Tacoma area’s approximately 20,000 residents commutes through Federal Way to employment opportunities. NE Tacoma also has very limited retail and commercial prospects; Federal Way provides most of these services. (population statistic provided by City of Tacoma)

The Point at North Shore plan calls for 372 single-family detached homes and 492 townhomes, according to a Nov. 6 presentation by Cary Roe, public works director for Federal Way.

At full buildout, the development will add 523 vehicles to nearby roads during peak evening trips. About 52 percent of those vehicles will travel on the 348th Street/340th Street/SW Campus Drive arterial road.

The proposed development would have two access roads: Northshore Parkway/42nd Ave. NE and 33rd St. NE/38th Ave. NE.

Residents in the adjacent Stonebrook neighborhood are concerned about “cut-through” traffic. The city will locate logical places for “cut-through” and take efforts to stop it, Roe said, adding that it will cost Federal Way about $3 million in road improvements to offset the traffic increase.


Get involved:

A community meeting aimed at stopping the development at North Shore Golf Course will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 20 at Meeker Middle School, 4402 Nassau Ave. NE in Northeast Tacoma. To learn more, call John Lovelace at (206) 498-5131.

Search The Mirror’s online archive at for background on the North Shore issue.

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