Evan Smith: Crista Master Development Plan leads to lawsuit against City

Monday, June 28, 2010

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

The Crista Master Development Plan for the long-term development of the Crista campus has led to a lawsuit against Crista and the City of Shoreline by Deborah Buck, who lives near the Crista campus.

Buck and many of her neighbors are upset about a part of the plan that would provide an entrance to a new early childhood center from the dead-end street that they live on. Crista plans to build the early childhood center and accompanying parking lot near King’s Elementary School.

Buck says that she is concerned not only about added traffic on the quiet cul-de-sac but also about unsafe conditions for cars on a steep hill in winter.

Many also are upset about possible loss of the historic character of buildings on the campus.

In approving the Crista Master Development Plan, the City has required Crista to seek historic status for the Crista administration building and for the King’s High School building, Both date back to the Firland Sanatorium, which once occupied the land that is now the main Crista campus.

But Buck is concerned that other Firland Sanatorium buildings with historic value could be destroyed. Her great uncle was treated there in the early 1900s.

Crista officials deny that they plan to destroy any buildings.

One basis of the lawsuit is the City’s failure to include, in its traffic study, the problems from an entrance from 196th Place to the new pre-school, new parking lot and expanded elementary school.

The Buck lawsuit also claims that the City made a flawed decision in choosing not to prepare an environmental impact statement for City Council consideration. City officials say that this kind of land-use action doesn’t require a hearing examiner.

Buck says that the suit, which challenges all of the environmental impact statement, is necessary to get an adequate environmental impact statement and to protect neighborhood residents.

The Crista Master Development Plan creates a special zone for the Crista campus, as the City has done for the Shoreline Community College and Fircrest campuses.

As part of the plan, Crista Ministries presented its projections for development over the next 20 years.


Anonymous,  June 29, 2010 at 12:23 AM  

This statement in the article "which challenges all of the environmental impact statement..." is incorrect in that Deborah Buck is noting the lack of an environmental impact statement (EIS) as part of her suit. What she is challenging is the approval of the Crista master plan by the City of Shoreline.

The lack of an administrative appeal due to an administrative order issued in early December 2009 was cited as a key issue in the Buck suit, which more properly should be termed a land use action appeal (LUPA). At the present time the City of Shoreline has proposed that all administrative appeals be taken permanently away from the public process and any appeals be directed to LUPA, which is expensive and lengthy.

Additionally, the suit notes that if the City of Shoreline is not responsive to her demand for email records, her suit may be amended at a later date to include public records act violations for failure to provide public disclosure.

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