The Seattle Department of Transportation has determined that the completion of the “missing link” of the Burke Gilman Trail will “not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment.” The city released today its State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination of Non-Significance for the “missing link” as required by a judge last April.
Ten months ago, King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers ruled that SDOT must do an environmental review on a 5-block section between 17th Ave NW and NW Vernon Pl, which was not originally studied under SEPA.
From the Revised SEPA Determination of Non-Significance (.pdf):
SDOT has determined that this proposal will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. An environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required under RCW 43.21C.030(2)(c). This decision was made after review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file with the lead agency.
Any interested person may appeal this DNS by submitting a Notice of Appeal and a $50.00 filing fee to the Office of the Hearing Examiner.
The appeal must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. March 3, 2011.
The entire SEPA Checklist can be found here (.pdf.) Comments on the DNS and checklist may be submitted until 5:00 pm Thursday, February 24. According to the documents, construction on the project could begin as early as this fall.
“SDOT does expect that this DNS will be appealed,” Rick Sheridan with SDOT tells us. In the case of an appeal, it would delay the call out for bids and construction.
In July 2009, a coalition of Ballard industrial businesses, associations and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court challenging the city’s plans to complete the Burke Gilman trail. Specifically, the lawsuit questions the city’s environmental review of the project. Among the concerns were safety and parking. (Disclosure: MyBallard is a member of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.)