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City Seeks Fair Treatment From Higher Court

Apr 24, 2017 - At the close of business on Friday, April 21, the City received a written ruling on the lawsuit by Sound Transit challenging the City’s ability to invoke its land use authority over the conditions of the building permit for the proposed Mercer Island light rail station in Town Center.
The City believes the ruling does not reflect fair and equitable treatment from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Sound Transit, and in a special session convened this morning, the City Council voted unanimously to immediately appeal the ruling by King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus.  The Judge acknowledged the City’s "serious and well-founded concerns" regarding traffic and safety impacts related to the closure of the I‑90 Center Roadway for rail construction, but nonetheless determined that the City’s code was preempted by WSDOT’s authority, as delegated to Sound Transit by lease agreement.

In her written decision, Judge Andrus preliminarily enjoined the City from invoking its land use authority pursuant to Title 19 of the Mercer Island City Code as to the I-90 Right of Way and the East Link Light Rail project.  

On a parallel track with litigation, the City is actively pursuing the possibility of a negotiated solution and three Councilmembers will meet later today with three representatives of the Sound Transit Board to explore possible terms of such an agreement including project mitigation.

To learn more about recent negotiations and litigation history, visit


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