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Tilllicum group appeals permit for Camp Murray gate move

Post by Christian Hill / The News Tribune on Oct. 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm with 5 Comments »
October 21, 2011 12:42 pm

A Tillicum neighborhood group is contesting the city of Lakewood’s issuance of a permit to allow Camp Murray to move its main gate.

The Tillicum Action Committee contends the city’s environmental review was insufficient in the six-page appeal filed Thursday.

It asks the city’s hearing examiner to reverse the decision. It also requests the examiner to order the city to hold a public hearing and complete a supplemental review that fully address the impacts of the gate move.


Officials at the military department previously said the gate’s current location near Berkeley Street and Union Avenue is unsafe because it’s too close to the busy intersection, an antiquated Interstate 5 interchange and a rail line. The state has secured millions of dollars to construct a new gate at Portland Avenue and Boundary Street.

The permit granted by the city on Oct. 10 allows the military department to connect the new gate to public streets.

The appeal alleges the city failed to hold a public hearing and formally adopt the environmental study used by the Washington Military Department to justify the gate move. It also alleges the new location would drive more vehicles onto quiet neighborhood streets and block access to the Eagle Point gated community in emergencies, but the study fails to address those safety impacts.

The city has said the permit was granted lawfully and it requires the military department to pay for improvements to deter motorists for using neighborhood streets. Projects include installing raised crosswalks on Portland Avenue,  putting in signs to identify a designated travel route for Camp Murray drivers away from neighborhood streets, and paying the city $100,000 for unspecified future “traffic-calming” projects.

City officials and a representative of the Tillicum Action Committee were not immediately available for comment Friday.

The committee, which advises the Tillicum-Woodbrook Neighborhood Association on transportation issues, hired a Seattle-based law firm, Gendler & Mann LLP, to represent it in the appeals process. It has vowed to exhaust its appeals in an effort to stop the project.

Twitter: @TNTchill

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Wrapper98439 says:

    I don’t know why this is still an issue. Shut the gate, send traffic through North Fort, and block access to Tillicum from Madigan. Then they can have their quiet neighborhood.

  2. Having access to Camp Murray throuth North Fort Lewis is the most logical way to do it.

  3. steilacoomtaxpayer says:

    This is the same group that doesn’t want sewers in Tillicum. Wake up! It is 2011. A road is needed to cut traffic for all of us.

  4. citizen0 says:

    Ahh, the North Fort option. JBLM is a US Army and US Air Force federal site. Camp Murray is a State facility. The security protocols are not interchangeable.

    If more traffic were to be routed to North Fort, the 5:45 AM bumper car stackup that occurs on I-5 and the hazard it is now, would increase.

    The taxpayer dollars to put in a ‘temporary state entry point’ at the North Fort exit would be far more than any movement of the Camp Murray gate. Just throwing in an extra lane at the exit does not help, nor would just letting Camp Murray traffic proceed along the open portion of JBLM adjacent to the freeway without adhering to federal DOD security protocols be without a large infrastructure cost.

    At some point a regional change will probably occur which reroutes traffic or improves the I-5 corridor through the JBLM area or both.
    Just for the localized I-5 improvements to 4 interchanges the early estimates are $1,000,000,000 dollars and climbing. This type of project won’t happen anytime soon.

    Moving the Camp Murray gate is not a perfect end all solution to any of the local traffic woes and most people can see that. It is just a small portion of the change that eventually will take place in the area.

  5. ralbright says:

    To address what wrapper98439 is saying, By saying what you are saying you only prove your lack of knowledge of the situation going on here. So please refrain from making comments of this nature until you know more of what is going on.

    To address what Steilacoomtaxpayer is saying, Yes we as citizens of Lakewood in the Tillicum neighborhood want sewers, we do not however want to pay $4500 to $9000 to connect to it. That is what we are upset about, we welcome the change.

    Now on to the gate, routing traffic through JBLM’s North Fort gate is not an option as that route does not allow for significant traffic flow. Routing traffic to the proposed gate location at Berkeley/Union streets would cause Camp Murray personnel to ‘rat-race’ through Tillicum to avoid speed bumps and potentially cause injury to our children who live and go to school here. (I currently see some drivers drive over the speed limit because they are running late.) An option that the city has mandated in the current permit is for Camp Murray to pay to synchronize the stop light at Union/Berkeley to the lights on the Freedom Bridge overpass. Doing this one action will alleviate a lot of the traffic congestion, however the city does not want to pay to do it, so the Camp Murray is bribing them to do it for them. I use bride quite purposefully too as this would describe what the city was looking for from the get-go, a scape-goat that would pay for the necessary improvements in Tillicum in exchange for the safety of its citizens. I for one do not approve of what the city is doing, if you had an additional 900 cars start going in front of your house, I think you would agree with me. Realize that most of those that live in this fair neighborhood are among some of the poorest in the city, but then again there are quite a few who live here (like myself for one), because we enjoy the neighborhood. So get off your high-horses people and really research this issue, you will realize what the city is doing is wrong. If they do not overturn this, I am looking to have the entire city council replaced, as new blood is needed, especially those that will listen to those they represent.

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