FoLM Appeal of SEPA

The State Environmental Protection Act requires all governmental agencies to consider the environmental impacts of a proposal before making decisions. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be prepared for all proposals with probable significant adverse impacts on the quality of the environment. Parks didn’t conduct an EIS, as they determined that the renovation of the moorages would have no significant environmental impacts. Their Determination of Non Significance (DNS) was based on lies.

DPR claims that the use of the moorages will be essentially the same after renovation, even though the open ended lease with Marina Management allows them to operate businesses at the marinas, “including, but not limited to, food services, bicycle, kayak, and other recreational equipment rental,” and any other commercial venture that is “generally consistent with waterfront recreation areas.” To suggest that these additional uses are essentially the same, when none of them exist now, is untruthful. To further suggest that these additional uses would have no impact on the environment is disingenuous, as any increase in human traffic will impact the quality of the water and the natural habitat surrounding Lakewood Moorage. Will a large ferris wheel be allowed, because it would be consistent with another waterfront recreation area in our city?

DPR completely disregards the obvious preference built into the lease for renting slips to luxury yachts versus renting to the small power boats and sail boats that dominate the moorages today. Under the lease, Lakewood Moorage loses 42 slips currently rented to small power boats and sail boats. In exchange, Lakewood gains guest moorage, pump out stations and new slips for multi million dollar yachts. Marina Management is able to charge more rent for the larger luxury yacht slips, increasing their profits and increasing the annual 3% rent paid to Parks.

Large luxury yachts have a different environmental impact than the small motor boats and sail boats that dominate at Lakewood. While there are a small number of tenants living aboard their yachts at Lakewood, these boats predominantly stay in their slips year round. By saying that the use will remain essentially the same after renovation ignores the increased luxury yacht traffic to the area for mooring in the new huge slips, for staying in guest moorage provided and to visit the pump out station.

DPR did not address the obvious environmental impacts that a stationary pump out station will cause. There will be spills, both during pump out and during transport of the waste.

The Friends of Lakewood Moorage appealed the DNS and hired attorney Bryan Telegin with Bricklin and Newman to handle this appeal. The hearing before Deputy Hearing Examiner Barbara Dykes Ehrlichman has been set out to January 2019.