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Appeal hearing on Camp Murray gate permit set for Dec. 7

Post by Christian Hill / The News Tribune on Oct. 31, 2011 at 4:07 pm with No Comments »
October 31, 2011 4:07 pm

The hearing on an appeal of the city of Lakewood’s issuance of a permit allowing Camp Murray to move its main gate will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 7.

Hearing Examiner James O’Connor will preside at the hearing to be held in the council chambers of City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.

Meanwhile, the Washington Military Department filed notice that it will participate in the hearing and call witnesses.

Attorneys for the city, state and Tillicum Action Committee are in discussions to work out the details of the upcoming hearing.

The group filed the lone challenge to the permit that enables the Washington Military Department to move the gate from near the intersection to Union Avenue and Berkeley Street to Portland Avenue and Boundary Street.

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.

You can read the entire appeal here.

Officials at the military department previously said the gate’s current location 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.

A hearing examiner is akin to a judge in contested land-use issues.

Participation in an appeal hearing is limited to the military department, the neighborhood committee, their representatives, appropriate city staff and witnesses.

O’Connor can affirm the decision with or without changes, reverse the decision or send the decision back to staff for further consideration.

O’Connor must release his written decision within 10 days of the hearing, unless an extension is agreed upon.

The Tillicum Action Committee has vowed to exhaust its appeals to stop the project. It could take its case to Pierce County Superior Court if O’Connor rules against it.

Twitter: @TNTchill


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