The Meadows – Sound Transit

ST East Link Project Description
The ST East Link is the voter-approved transit system that will follow the south side of 520 as it passes our neighborhood along its path to downtown Redmond and beyond. This long-anticipated ST East Link section of the Light Rail along 520 is under construction and site preparation work for the track is nearly at our community. The East Link will impact The Meadows with some loss of land and trees along the north edge of the common area.

Sound Transit East Link Extension
and Impact on The Meadows.

This is a “friendly” lawsuit. – what does that mean?
ST is required to offer compensation for the taking of the land and other impacts.

The legal way to take property is through a lawsuit. A lawsuit is usually assumed to be contentious with the two parties disagreeing and fighting each other. However, this is a “friendly” taking or lawsuit because the board, in the best interest of our community and as advised by our lawyer, are not fighting the action nor the compensation. This eases the process, prevents the community from burden of high legal bills and accepts that ST East Link Extension is being built

This is considered a ‘done deal’ by the board and ST. The board and our lawyers have handled all the details and this offer from ST has been accepted by the board.
Actions Taken by the Meadows board.
The board has known for a few years the East Link project would impact the North side of the Meadows common area and began working with ST several years ago.

Back then, the board hired (at ST’s expense), an attorney to strongly represent the interests of The Meadows as a community. Residents may be assured the board and our lawyer have taken every step to ensure the rights of our ownership were respected and fair compensation was arranged.

Working with our lawyers, the board has:
• Ensured all actions taken satisfy our DCC&Rs.
• Received compensation for the land taken for the RV lot. (discussed below)
• Negotiated an amount for loss of the trees and general stuff (discussed below)
• Negotiated for reimbursement for all legal expenses.
Actions required of our residents
All residents are part of the lawsuit. Although this is a friendly taking, there are still steps required of the board and all homeowners before the deal is complete and we can receive the money promised by ST.

The Association has agreed to assist ST in this legal process. To this end, we need to serve all resident’s notification of the action being taken by ST and The Meadows board.
Compensation
ST has offered The Meadows $1,000 per house for the land and trees they are taking. They have also offered to pay most of the legal bills for the community (exact amount is still to be determined)

More Details
Sound Transit has acquired land along the north edge of The Meadows:
• Essentially all the land on the slope between our chain link fence and 520. All these trees will be removed.
• Inside the chain link fence (what we refer to as our common area), there may be trees removed inside the common area (loosely defined as that south of the chain link fence). we believe any trees removed will be limited to the north side of the road in the common area leading to club house.
• there will be some loss of land in the RV lot. Once construction is complete, there will be no lasting effects to the RV lot.

Sound Transit Offer

  1. XX for the RV lot
  2. $1,000 for each homeowner

Links
ST explanation of the full East Link
https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/east-link-extension

My Open Questions
• When does ST want/need/demand the documents
• When will process serving begin for those who haven’t submitted the form
• What happens if not everyone signs.
• When we will get the money?
• Is it taxable?
• Can a resident refuse the offer and sue ST? 

Quote for Our Attorney Letter

While the lawsuit between Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (“Sound Transit’) and the Association is a cooperative one, it is still necessary for Sound Transit to serve each owner with the lawsuit. As stated on page 5 of that letter:

To address that problem, the parties have agreed to a “friendly” lawsuit. Since the Association does not object to Sound Transit’s right to take the property, Sound Transit can bring the lawsuit, have the judge rule in Sound Transit’s favor, and then both Sound Transit and the Association can use the court’s ruling as a shield against first mortgagees. But, for that to work, all the Lot Owners must be a party to the lawsuit so that there is a court ruling that binds the Lot Owners as well.

It is important to make this very clear. Even though the parties have reached a resolution the procedural requirements necessary to complete the settlement will require that Sound Transit will need to serve the lawsuit on all the Lot Owners at The Meadows Association because each of you, as members of the Association has an interest in the Association’s property and Sound Transit believes that you must be part of the lawsuit that resolve this matter. Sound Transit has offered to set up times to serve the lawsuit or make other arrangements to serve the lawsuit on each of you in a way that results in the least amount of intrusion or disruption possible. We will update you further when we have a plan on this front.

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