The earliest it would appear that the Seattle City Council will vote on a street vacation that would clear the way for permitting for the SoDo arena is April.
That screaming you hear is the collected voices of Sonics fans and NHL to Seattle hopefuls.
The Alderaan-like disturbance in the Force aside, our own Mike Baker broke news of work on scheduling a review of reports and recommendations of the street vacation by the city council's Sustainability & Transportation committee. Councilmember and committee head Mike O'Brien first brought to our attention the 28-day window for notice of a public hearing to take feedback on considering the vacation.
Per legislative process, the committee must first vet the proposal and recommendations by various agencies before moving it on to the full city council for consideration. Sources informed Sonics Rising late last week that scheduling was expected to be announced sometime this week. We weren't given a specific reason why it seemed to be taking so long.
Now, we have some idea.
On Sunday, Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times reported that sources at city hall were working on scheduling that could put a full council vote on the street vacation sometime in late March or early April. Chris Daniels of KING5-TV now confirms through his city sources that the scheduling will likely push that vote into early spring at the earliest.
According to Daniels, the complex nature of the scheduling revolves around offering the public multiple opportunities to provide feedback on the street vacation. In addition, the central staff is working around the schedules of the nine councilmembers to make as many as possible available for the meeting.
When Mayor Murray announced a schedule for the arena process in February 2015, one public commentary hearing was anticipated. Earlier this month, news that the committee was planning a hearing of its own left the impression that there would be multiple meetings. Daniels' report suggests that they are working on a single meeting for the full council and not just the committee.
The public will also have the opportunity to voice support or concern during regular comment periods at the start of council meetings and in writing to their individual district councilmembers.
Following the public hearing, which requires the 28-day notice by city law -- in full disclosure, Sonics Rising has not been able to locate this stipulation, but we'll defer to those who actually make a living at city hall -- there will be one or more meetings of the Sustainability & Transportation committee to sort through all of the feedback and decide on presenting the proposal for legislation to the full city council.
The actual schedule should be out this week or next.