Save Weyerhaeuser Campus was pleased to learn that the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden has secured its home at the former Weyerhaeuser Campus (Federal Way Mirror, Aug. 8). The Rhody Garden isn’t just a highlight of Federal Way, it’s an international gem recognized for its rhododendron and companion plant conservation.
For the past three years, Save Weyerhaeuser Campus has been working to ensure that Industrial Realty Group, the current owners, preserve the unique nature and character of the campus through responsible development. Like the withdrawal of the fish processing plant that IRG originally proposed on the campus, the anchoring of the Rhody Garden is a win for our community.
Although we are encouraged by the Rhody Garden’s announcement, Save Weyerhaeuser Campus continues to advocate for development that isn’t heavily dependent on semi-truck traffic. We seek a dynamic mix of uses that benefits everyone in the community, and is attractive to visitors. We also want to ensure the size, scale and scope of new development meshes with this historic campus.
To that end, Save Weyerhaeuser Campus appealed the city’s approval of the first warehouse application for the property. We seek review of the cumulative traffic and other impacts of all five of IRG’s proposed warehouses. Five days of appeal hearings concluded Aug. 9 and we expect a decision by the city hearing examiner in early September.
In addition, we continue to pursue the purchase and preservation of the undeveloped 54-acre parcel on the western shoreline of North Lake, identified by the King County Land Conservation Initiative as high-value conservation land. Since 2016, we have been working with the city, King County, Washington State and Forterra, raising funds to buy the lakefront property. To date, IRG has not agreed to sell it.
Along with preservation groups, we support local, state and national preservation listings for this historic campus, recognitions that can only come with the owner’s application or approval.
Save Weyerhaeuser Campus is respectfully working to continue the vision and legacy of George Weyerhaeuser, who has stated his support for efforts to preserve the low-density, open-space character of the campus and its unique features, as agreed upon when Weyerhaeuser joined the city in 1994.
Lori Sechrist, President
Save Weyerhaeuser Campus