Here we go, folks. Chris Hansen's SoDo arena project is back in the hands of the Seattle politicians.
KING5's Chris Daniels has just reported that "Mayor Ed Murray and SDOT sent a 65-page report to the Seattle City Council, which recommends the street vacation of Occidental to allow for a new arena to be built in SoDo."
This is obviously welcome news to Sonics Rising, as we have been waiting for a street vacation vote since ... let me recollect ... the stone ages? This doesn't, however, mean we will have a street vacation approval in time for Christmas.
Seattle City Council Transportation Chair Tom Rasmussen has previously indicated, however, that the council will not likely take up the issue until January at the earliest.
In addition to proclaiming no negative impact on the Seattle Mariners, the report directly confronts persistent opposition from the Port of Seattle.
In response to concerns from Geri Poor at the Port of Seattle, the letter reads: "It should also be noted that the Heavy Haul Route legislation, passed (by the council) in October 2015, only identifies Occidental Avenue South as a "Heavy Haul Route" from South Horton Street to South Holgate Street. The segment proposed to be vacated is not included in the Port's important Heavy Haul Network. This is a clear sign that Occidental is not necessary to freight movement or Port Operations."
It continues: "You allege negative land use impacts that will occur as a result of the proposal. This allegation is not supported by the EIS or the City's policies or zoning code. The EIS concludes that no significant adverse impact related to land use will occur as a result of the project."
It's a safe bet that the Port and the Mariners will respond to the logic of this report with a full reversal of position, right? Let's just say... I wouldn't count on it.