What is SOC?
Save Our Communities (SOC) is a non-profit organization of concerned citizens from communities throughout Snohomish, Island, and northern King Counties dedicated to preserving the quality of life in this primarily residential area of Puget Sound. Formed in 1992, it is a one-issue group – specifically, we oppose any attempt to transform Paine Field into a ‘SeaTac-North’. Please view our PowerPoint presentation.
Why was SOC formed?
In 1992, a Puget Sound-wide air transportation study (the ‘Flight Plan Project’) was conducted to identify and evaluate possible alternatives to SeaTac expansion. SOC was formed to provide a unified voice of opposition to Paine Field being selected as the ‘preferred alternative’. Subsequently, SOC has been active whenever there has been a perceived threat to the well-established role of Paine Field.
The membership of SOC is comprised of the many thousands of concerned citizens from cities in the vicinity of Paine Field who signed petitions, volunteered, and/or donated money or other resources during the airport issue ‘campaigns’ from 1988 to the present. SOC is in the process of developing a comprehensive member database.
Why not encourage a major airport to develop at Paine Field?
We do not want to see our airport turn into a ‘SeaTac-North’ with the accompanying environmental problems (property devaluation, noise, health issues, traffic congestion, strip malls, blight, residential flight, etc). Paine Field is very unique in that it has a defined role regarding the types of uses that are encouraged and strongly discouraged. This role has encouraged cities to rezone from industrial to residential use over the past 30 years. A commercial airport now will bring in some low wage jobs "economic development" but that will more than offset the wealth destruction caused by harming property value, schools, health, and the overall quality of life in our communities.
What is the Mediated Role Determination (MRD)?
The Mediated Role Determination is a sequence of closely linked documents jointly created during the 1970s by county, city, and citizen group representatives that culminated in a 1978-79 document (the MRD) that identified the dominant aeronautical activities to be conducted at Paine Field. Also, it established a communications relationship among the stakeholders. SOC considers the MRD a binding agreement between the County and all area stakeholders. The purpose of the MRD was to establish a formal, written understanding between the County and the cities surrounding Paine Field regarding the role that airport would play in the future. It served as a basis for adjacent land use rezoning — calming prospective residents’ fears about airport expansion — by clearly delineated airport uses to be encouraged and strongly discouraged, and established guidelines for communication and problem resolution between the County and the surrounding cities. Without MRD assurances, many area residents would not have located near Paine Field. We do not know of any other airport having this type of an understanding in place.