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Appeals court rules for environmental review at Fort Lawton

March 29th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The state Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling Monday, saying the city of Seattle’s plan to redevelop the Fort Lawton base with more than 200 housing units must undergo a state environmental review before moving forward.

The court heard arguments this month from the city and the Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council about whether the development should be subjected to review under the state Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

Our news partner The Seattle Times reports that Gwendolyn Payton, the neighborhood council’s attorney, argued that the plan to build a mixed-use subdivision threatens a colony of great blue herons and other wildlife and habitats at the 29-acre site next to Discovery Park.  On Monday, Payton said the city wanted to bypass SEPA "because, in my opinion, it’s very clear … that there’s no way (the plan) could have passed environmental muster."

The city can file a motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals in 20 days or take the matter to the state Supreme Court.

Kathy Mulady, spokeswoman for the City Attorney’s Office, told The Times there’s been no decision on potential next steps.

Fort Lawton was flagged for closure in 2005, and in 2008 the city signed off a plan to redevelop it with 108 to 125 market-rate units, 85 units for the homeless and six Habitat for Humanity units.

Read the full decision by the court here.

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  • Jamie

    Wondering if it is important that the appellate court overturned the trial court's mandate that the city explain why the Discovery Park master plan does not need to be considered with respect to the proposed development plan. I would be interested in hearing about the significance of that part of the decision from a land use / environmental lawyer.

  • Forst

    Magnolia NIMBYs are a detriment to the city of Seattle.