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How the light rail noise variance hearing will work

We haven’t covered a lot of noise variance hearings — and we’re guessing you might not have participated in many of them. So we checked in with Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development to find out more about tonight’s light rail construction noise variance hearing and how the session will proceed. Here’s what we heard back from DPD’s Bryan Stevens. We’ve also included the hearing agenda below.

What’s the purpose of the hearing?
 Variances from the Noise Control Code that extend beyond a two-week period require a public meeting. The premise of the meeting is to have Sound Transit provide an explanation of the proposed work and to allow the public an opportunity to comment on the variance request.  

How will the public comment portion work?

Stevens: Depending on the number of people in attendance, each person will get 2-3 minutes to voice their concerns or suggestions while the city takes note.  If someone has a lengthy comment, it may be best to present it in writing to the DPD representative so that it can be reviewed after the meeting.  

Also, when making comments, if someone has already stated a concern that another commenter agrees with, it’s usually more effective for the person to say they agree with the previous person’s comments rather than restating them.  

Will a decision be made tonight?
Stevens: A decision on the request will not be made this evening, but must be completed within 60-days of the public meeting.  I’ve also included a link to the notice from January 14th, which includes application material: http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/luib/Notice.aspx?BID=487&NID=10590

Stevens also tells us DPD has decided to allow written comments through February 18th. A DPD representative will provide comment forms at the hearing or you can e-mail comments to david.george@seattle.gov or jeff.stalter@seattle.gov.

Public Meeting Capitol Hill Station Noise Variance

Thursday, February 11, 2010
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Central Community College Room 1110
1701 Broadway

6:00 – 6:30 p.m.                            “Meet and Greet”                                                                     

·       City of Seattle/Sound Transit staff will be available before the meeting begins to provide and discuss background information on the Capitol Hill Station and the proposed Noise Variance.

6:30 – 6:35 p.m.              Welcome/Introductions/Review Agenda (David George, DPD Noise Abatement Coordinator/Ellen Blair, Associate, Triangle Associates, Inc.)

6:35 – 6:50 p.m.              Opening Presentations on Capitol Hill Station and Noise Variance (Jeff Munnoch, U-Link Community Outreach, Sound Transit)

6:50 – 6:55 p.m.              Public Comment Discussion Guidelines (Ellen Blair)             

6:55 – 8:25 p.m.                            Public Comment                                                                     

·       Up to three minutes per person, depending on how many people sign up to comment.

8:25 – 8:30 p.m.                            Wrap Up/Next Steps (Ellen Blair/ David George)                                                       

8:30 – 9:00 p.m.                            Questions & Discussions                                                       

·        City of Seattle/Sound Transit staff will be available after the meeting to answer questions that arose during or as a result of the public comment period or to discuss related topics.

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