In December, we reported on a local case that went before the city Hearing Examiner, related to the upcoming Seattle Parks project that will close the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area for an estimated six months of drainage work. Park neighbor Inge Anderson appealed the Parks decision that an environmental-impact study wasn’t needed, saying that among other impacts, it will affect many users of West Seattle’s only off-leash area because the planned temporary replacement OLA is small. Five weeks after Anderson and Parks manager David Graves argued their respective sides before Hearing Examiner Ryan Vancil (WSB coverage here), his decision is in – read it here (PDF).
While Vancil reiterates points he noted during the December 16th hearing – such as, that appellants face a tough challenge because it’s on them to prove a city department made the wrong decision – he sided with Parks. He said Anderson “did not introduce evidence demonstrating any significant impacts that are reasonably likely to result from the proposal.” The key word there is “significant”; Vancil agreed that the plan would have some impacts, just not enough to require a full environmental study. His decision is the city’s final word on the matter, and any further challenges would have to be done in court; when we contacted Anderson to ask if she intends to do that, she said yes.