Welp, we’re at it again. Maybe.
The Discovery Park Community Alliance (DPCA) announced another lawsuit to try to stop the development of 238 affordable homes on the federal Fort Lawton property.
The lawsuit would be the latest attempt to shut down the development, which has been in the works for more than a decade.
Fort Lawton is a former military base. U.S. government officials have been in talks with the city of Seattle to transfer the land over for affordable housing and playgrounds at low to no cost.
However, the deal has been stymied by legal attacks levied by groups backed by Elizabeth Campbell, a multiple-time City Council candidate and semi-successful litigant who has fought the proposed development as well as the location of authorized homeless encampments on environmental grounds.
The new lawsuit once again employs environmental concerns — this time, the fate of herons and heron habitats.
“Great news! Wow! Impressive!” the post at the top of the DCPA website reads.
“Another lawsuit to stop the City of Seattle’s Fort Lawton housing project is making its way to and through to court as we speak! The DPCA is currently maintaining its lawsuit against the project in the U.S. District court, the addition of another lawsuit to stop the housing project is welcome news!!”
The post claims that many organizations and people with “$upport” are behind the effort.
As of Nov. 15 morning, Seattle’s Office of Housing — which is shepherding the Fort Lawton land transfer project — had not been informed of a new lawsuit. At least one organization named as a “collaborator,” the Seattle Audubon Society, took to social media to announce that they were not party to any lawsuit and were not opposed to affordable housing at Fort Lawton.
The effort comes at a critical time for the Fort Lawton development. The City Council voted to move forward with an application to the U.S. Departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development that would help clear the way for the city to acquire the 34-acre parcel where the base once stood.
They also approved a memorandum of agreement with the Seattle School District No. 1 for the acquisition and development of multi-use athletic fields.
However, the city has to hit benchmarks set by the federal government or risk losing the property altogether.
It’s unclear, at this juncture, how the newest potential lawsuit will impact that deadline.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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