PORT TO BUY MORE HOUSES COMING 3RD RUNWAY REQUIRES RELOCATION OF HOMEOWNERS

For more than 50 years, Vera McCann has watched Sea-Tac Airport expand, seen the surrounding farmland become subdevelopments and heard the airplanes get bigger and their takeoffs more frequent. By the time Sea-Tac's $1.1 billion third runway opens in...


If the homeowner, for whatever reason, has to wait six months to buy a new home, they are still only eligible for $10,000, even if the market has forced prices upward.

Homeowners are also eligible to be reimbursed for closing costs they pay while buying their replacement home, with the exception of prepaid expenses such as real estate taxes and property insurance.

And, if the interest rate on the new mortgage exceeds the interest rate on the old mortgage, the port will pay for some of the difference.

For renters, the port will pay up to $5,250 to rent a comparable place for up to 31/2 years; if they so choose, the renters also can apply that money toward a down payment.

"Optimally, we'd like to turn renters into owners," Barrett said.

The port will also pay the moving costs of both owners and renters.

"It is not going to be a problem, depending on how fast we can find a new home," said Nasra Hashi, 47, who lives with her two daughters on 12th Place South but wouldn't mind moving closer to her Renton workplace. Her youngest daughter, Yasmin Elmi, hopes to be able to finish her senior year at Foster Senior High School.

As of January 2006, the port had bought about 1,400 single-family homes and 113 mobile homes, with plans to buy an additional 246 mobile homes.

More than 9,700 homes around the airport have been soundproofed since 1985.

While commercial properties are not part of the program currently under the commission's consideration, airport spokesman Perry Cooper said some businesses - such as Filiberto's Cucina Italia and the Des Moines Way Dental Clinic - have agreed to sell, as had the Burien Seventh-day Adventist School.

Others were not approached, such as the Adorable Pet Lodge, where Carmelo and Cheryl Zappala have been boarding cats and dogs since 1971.

"We've been here for a long time, and we've put up with the noise because the neighborhood afforded us easy access to the airport and gave us a livelihood," Carmelo Zappala said.

But he's puzzled that the port would offer an out to other businesses and homeowners while skipping over his five-acre property, which will be just as affected by noise as his neighbors'.

"If they want to buy us out and pay us the money it's worth, I wouldn't mind moving."

Left to her druthers, McCann would rather not move, "especially not at my age," she said, though her grandkids in Enumclaw and Eatonville would like to have her nearby.

But with the introduction of the third runway, the thunderous noise she's gotten used to "would become intolerable," she said.

P-I reporter Kristen Millares Young can be reached at 206-448-8142 or kristenyoung@seattlepi.com

FIND OUT MORE

About the port's relocation program: 206-444-6767.

About the port's noise remediation: 1-800-826-1147.

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