Loss of our Appeal of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Up Zone of the U District
On June 19, 2015 the Hearing Examiner of the City of Seattle decided that the Final Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for "the U District Urban Design Alternatives" is legally adequate. The Urban Design Alternatives present two proposals for up-zoning the maximum height of buildings in the core area to 240' and 360' respectively.
Finding of Fact # 45 of the ruling discuses park space, in part, as follows:
"The community places a high priority on the creation of a centrally located open space, one that is large enough to accommodate concerts, farmers; markets, and other activities.
"The UDA [University District Advocates] noted at the hearing that the 2015 University District Parks Plan shows that the highest priority of the community is a centrally-located town square."
Conclusion # 16 states, in part, as follows:
"The EIS disclosed that the open space deficit will become larger under the alternatives ...The decision-makers for the proposal will ultimately need to decide whether the open space deficit is unacceptable, and if a central open space should be created."
The Hearing Examiner's decision empowers the Mayor and City Council to proceed to adopt any or all of the up-zoning proposed and to act on other elements of updating the neighborhood plan, including creating a central plaza as the community requests.
- Jorgen Bader
View the Final EIS for the U District Urban Design Alternatives (a very large download)