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Topic: Longshore workers union

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July 15, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Appeals court to consider Sodo arena challenge

A state Court of Appeals judge will consider arguments today brought by the local longshore workers union that the city and county shouldn’t have entered into a deal to build a sports arena in the Sodo neighborhood before state environmental reviews were completed.

Attorneys for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19 are asking the appeals court to invalidate a Memorandum of Understanding reached with investor Chris Hansen in October 2012, arguing it coerces government decision-makers to approve a Sodo site and limits consideration of alternate sites.

“There is no ‘Bring Back the Sonics’ exception to SEPA,” said Peter Goldman, attorney for the longshore workers, refering to the State Environmental Policy Act. Goldman argues that the agreement with Hansen triggered a series of steps, including¬†acquiring an NBA team, designing a new arena and seeking building permits at the Sodo location that foreclose meaningful consideration of alternate locations that might have fewer environmental impacts.

“The question is how much can government agree to with a private developer before doing SEPA,” Goldman said. “The whole deal was designed to build momentum for an arena in Sodo.”

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Comments | More in General news | Topics: Arena lawsuit, Chris Hansen, Longshore workers union

March 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Longshore workers will appeal Sodo arena ruling

The local longshore workers’ union plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that an agreement to build a sports arena in Sodo did not violate state environmental laws.

Local 19 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, whose members load and unload cargo at Port of Seattle facilities within blocks of the proposed Sodo arena site, announced this morning that they will ask a Washington Appeals Court for an expedited hearing of the case.

“The ILWU Local 19 believes that the court failed to acknowledge that the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is a violation of the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), which outlines the action the city and and county took to construct an arena in Sodo without an EIS,” the union said in a statement.

A King County Superior Court judge two weeks ago threw out the union challenge to an agreement among Seattle, the county and investor Chris Hansen to build a $490 million state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue with up to $200 million in public funds.

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Comments | Topics: Chris Hansen, Longshore workers union, Sodo arena