Thursday’s decision on the appeal of a permit needed to move the Camp Murray gate in Tillicum did little to settle the controversy.
Hearing Examiner James O’Connor remanded the permit back to Lakewood city officials for further study and action.
Concerned residents challenged the permit the city issued to the Washington Military Department so it can connect the new gate now under construction to public streets closer to their neighborhood.
Military department officials say the current gate is unsafe due to its proximity to the busy intersection of Berkeley Street and Union Avenue, an antiquated Interstate 5 interchange and a rail line that may see Amtrak traffic in the future. The appellants contend the new gate location at Portland Avenue and Boundary Street jeopardizes safety by diverting more traffic by homes and it has the potential to block access to and from the Eagle Point gated subdivision in emergencies.
O’Connor concluded the city gave “substantial consideration” to traffic safety when it attached conditions to the permit intended to slow or deter motorists who use the streets to reach the new gate. He concluded the issuance of the permit was “not clearly erroneous, arbitrary or capacious,” rejecting the appellant’s arguments to the contrary. The state military department will pay for the improvements outlined in the permit.
But he also noted the city needs to consider the classification of major streets in Tillicum as well as city transportation goals to accommodate traffic without negatively impacting neighborhoods. Both are relevant to the traffic safety concerns raised by neighbors, he found.
Look for the story online and in print Friday for reaction.
You can read O’Connor’s decision here:
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