UPDATE: Mayor Nickels applauds the work of the council in this news release saying the Fort Lawton plan will provide much needed homeless housing for families and seniors in a mixed use community.
UPDATE: The council just voted to approve the proposed Fort Lawton redevelopment. Councilperson Tom Rasmussen told the council that the city held 18 community meetings on this plan and it addresses the major concerns. Here are the comments from a couple of the city council members before the unanimous vote to approve.
Sally Clark: “This is good legislation. It balances what we are looking for. We know that a number of folks are not happy with this plan; they would like to see the property added in its entirety to Discovery Park. I don’t read the Discovery Park Master Plan in the same way. In 2008 I think there is a different reality as far as 8000 homeless people on the street at night in King County. There is a balance here with this becoming a well developed, well designed and well integrated part of the Magnolia community.”
Richard Conlin: “This is a challenging situation. Our goal was to try to pull in different perspectives and create a new community. We are carefully crafting this plan and we will be creating a couple hundred units of housing. It should be very compatible with the community around it. We hope this is accepted. If not acceptable to the federal government, they can send to a private developer. We’ve got a good policy here.”
Tom Burgess: “This is a great plan and good legislation. I have received many statements of support from the Magnolia neighborhood, even immediate neighbors living by the park.”
Prior to the vote, opponent Elizabeth Campbell told the council that the process was distressing and the countil was just going through the motions of listening to the community. She said the Discovery Park Master Plan should not have been disregarded.
As we reported in our previous posting, the Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council tried to stop the process to no avail. They submitted a request seeking an extension, along with a request for a stay in the legislative process the City Council is engaged in to approve a plan for the Army base. They claim there are problems with the plan being considered and the City ignored the Discovery Park Master Plan