Appeal of Warehouse A begins June 20
State Department of Transportation testifying in SWC's case
The public is invited to come and listen as Save Weyerhaeuser Campus attorney J. Richard Aramburu presents arguments against the city of Federal Way's environmental and land-use approval of Warehouse A, the first of five warehouse/industrial buildings proposed by Industrial Realty Group of California.
The case before the Federal Way Hearing Examiner begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 20, in the City Council Chambers at Federal Way City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S. Attorneys representing IRG and the city will also present their arguments. Witnesses till testify, but no public testimony will be heard.
The hearing is slated to continue June 21 and June 26, beginning at 10 a.m. each day.
The appeal is the latest step in SWC's nearly three-year fight to assure that responsible, appropriate development and mitigation occur on the historic Weyerhaeuser campus, which may qualify as a National Historic Landmark.
Seeking the 'big picture' view
SWC is asking for cumulative review of ALL of IRG's projects on the campus, so that the "big picture" of impacts to traffic, the environment and the integrity of the historic design can be appropriately considered and mitigated.
Industrial Realty Group's other two projects on the campus -- Warehouse B (adjacent to Warehouse A), and the three-warehouse Greenline Business Park on the northern part of the campus -- are continuing through the application review process. (In case you're confused, IRG initially renamed the campus Greenline but more recently changed the name to Woodbridge Corporate Park. The permit applications were filed under the Greenline name, so that's why it continues being used.)
The SWC legal team is appealing the city's SEPA (environmental) decision for Warehouse A (issued in October 2018) and the land-use decision (issued February 4, 2019). Under state law, the two appeals are combined into one hearing.
Under the Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance for Warehouse A, the city specified several migitation measures required during construction, and a provision that Weyerhaeuser Way must be completely rebuilt if more than 28 trucks per week travel north of the project site.
However, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the King County Department of Transportation raised concerns about significant impacts of traffic from all three projects, and requested they be studied comprehensively, not one at a time. A WSDOT representative will testify for SWC in the appeal.
In addition, the Puyallup and Muckleshoot Tribes requested further environmental study of cumulative impacts to the Hylebos stream system, which downstream provides habitat for endangered species including steelhead, chinook and bull trout. Millions of dollars have been spent on habitat restoration downstream from the Warehouse A site.
After reviewing the comments, the city added a requirement (requested by the WSDOT) that IRG expand part of the off-ramp from Highway 18 to Weyerhaeuser Way, but did not require comprehensive study of the cumulative impacts from the three project proposals.
Save Weyerhaeuser Campus also believes that comprehensive review is required because of the significant cumulative impacts of the three projects -- including the potential of more than 800 semi-truck trips to the campus every day. Although IRG has submitted these projects separately, they share common road system, stream system and zoning.
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Save Weyerhaeuser Campus is a 501(c)(3) organization: EIN 81-3674786