Friday, May 15, 2015

Port of Seattle to Appeal Terminal 5 Decision

By Mark Edward Nero

At its May 12 meeting, the Port of Seattle Commission declared it would appeal a decision by the City of Seattle to block the lease between the port and Foss Maritime for the lease at Terminal 5.

The Commission’s action came eight days after Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle Department of Planning and Development said that an additional use permit is required for the proposed seasonal moorage of a drilling rig and accompanying tugboats.

Under the two-year lease, which was signed Feb. 9, Foss was given the right to short-term moorage and vessel operations along 50 acres at the port’s 156-acre Terminal 5, which is currently undergoing renovation.

Foss also would have been able to use the premises as a transport facility in which quantities of goods or container cargo are stored without undergoing any manufacturing process, are transferred to other carriers or are stored outdoors in order to transfer them to other locations.

On March 2 however, a coalition of five environmental groups filed a challenge against the port’s lease on the grounds that the lease would change the use of Terminal 5.

During its meeting, the Port of Seattle Commission voted to not just appeal the city’s rejection of the lease, but to ask Foss to abide by the current City of Seattle regulations, pending legal review.

“An appeal hearing provides a legal, structured format that acknowledges the seriousness of our concerns about changing long-standing permit requirements, and should not be viewed as hostile to the City of Seattle,” said Port Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman. “We expect that this will also provide a fair and objective opportunity for all affected parties to participate. We will work with the City of Seattle to define ‘cargo,’ as maritime businesses need that certainty.”