The Hearing Examiner denied the SSDP for segment 2B without prejudice because the 60% design plans on which the application was based, are incomplete.
“The Examiner concludes that the County’s application was incomplete because the site development plans (Exhibit 7) lack all information required for a complete application under WAC 173-27-180(9)(f). Specifically, they do not depict any utilities and may not depict all structures in the vicinity of the proposed construction. An incomplete application cannot be processed. An incomplete application creates no vested rights. An incomplete application cannot be cured by imposing a condition on the requested SSDP.”
The complete decision can be found at the following link:
Denial without prejudice allows the County to resubmit the application after they have incorporated all required information. Since the primary reason for the denial is that the County must show all utilities, some property owners may have leverage with the County in order for the County to handle the utility rights where they cross private property. It is not clear whether the resubmitted application would be subject to another hearing.
The Examiner rejected most of the conditions recommend by the City including narrowing the trail width and permitting existing structures. The Examiner acknowledges that he cannot resolve ownership issues. He also opines that there are so many conflicting issues involved that he could not render a decision that is acceptable to all parties affected and that an appeal of whatever he decided would be probable. It is not known at this time if the City (or the County for that matter) will appeal the decision. Additionally, any party affected by the decision has the right to appeal. Appeals would be heard by the Shoreline Hearings Board. It is true that the decision delays the start of the project. This is good news in that some of the existing legal challenges and appeals may be decided before the County could begin construction and the whole legal landscape could have changed by then. We believe that there would also be the opportunity to appeal the permit approval once the County has corrected the deficiencies in the plans. This could also further delay the project until we have more clarity to the legal challenges. We’ll keep you informed of conditions as they develop.