City and County Respond to Lawsuit Over SoDo Arena Plan

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The city of Seattle and King County filed their legal response to a lawsuit brought by the longshoreman union over a proposed basketball arena in SoDo, saying that the union is putting too much stock in an agreement the governments made with arena developers.

Following the The city and county's approval of a memorandum of understanding regarding the sports arena plan, two lawsuits were filed against the SoDo arena pact, as reported on Tuesday.

Members of the longshore workers union claim that the SoDo arena will have negative economic impact on the Port of Seattle and alternatives should be considered before development agreements, as established in the MOU, are made.

But the city and county say nothing is set in stone; the MOU is merely an agreement of how the parties will consider and finance the Arena if approved. In their perspective, arguments raised by ILUW Local 19's lawsuit are premature.

In a response to motion for summary judgment released today, the City and County argue that the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) does not require an EIS before approving the initial arena plans in the MOU, signed on Dec. 3, 2012.

"The MOU does not constitue an action nor does it have environmental impacts or limit the choice of reasonable alternatives," according to the City and County's response.

The City and County are adamant that final plans for the proposed Sodo arena will not happen until concerns and alternatives raised by the SEPA review are taken into consideration. In addition, it is explicitly stated that the arena will not be developed without discretionary land use permits.

Oral arguments for ILUW Local 19, and the City and County are scheduled for Feb. 22.

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