City’s decision on May 9th, 2016 will desecrate Sacred Ground
The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe on Friday filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court accusing the City of Snoqualmie of violating state environmental and land use laws in conjunction with a proposed agreement that allows the construction of a new hotel, conference center, stores, 175 homes and a 492-space parking lot on ground that is sacred to the Snoqualmie people.
At issue is the May 9 vote by the Snoqualmie City Council to approve a development agreement with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe that paves the way for the approval for future permits and construction of the sprawling project. The Tribe alleges in the lawsuit that the decision is based on a flawed environmental review conducted over 13 years ago.
“Land that was the heart of our ancestors’ universe, land that remains central to the lives of Snoqualmie people, today will be bulldozed and forever buried beneath concrete for the sake of 175 homes,” said Tribal Chairwoman Carolyn Lubenau.
The Tribe’s lawsuit takes issue with how and when the City conducted its environmental review of the project. The complaint accuses the City of failing to consider potential impacts to cultural and historic resources. The 2003 determination never considered the project’s impacts on Snoqualmie Falls since it was listed on the National Register in 2009 as a Traditional Cultural Property. The scope of the project has also increased substantially since 2003, adding 65 new homes. But, the City has not updated its environmental review.
“When an environmental review of a project is flawed, Washington State law requires that it be withdrawn and a new determination issued”, added Chairwoman Lubenau. “Impacts to Snoqualmie Falls and cultural resources in the area must be considered.”