Appeal filed in Cedar River Library permitting process; Council gets update Monday

Renton City Council will get an update on the permitting process for the downtown Renton Library over the Cedar River, at a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night.

The briefing is 6 p.m., in Renton City Council Chambers.

Last Friday, the group Citizens to Save the Cedar River Library…Again! filed a letter appealing the City of Renton's plans to mitigate impacts to the environment during the construction of the library over the Cedar River.

David Keyes, Beth Asher and Nicola Robinson, members of that citizen group, filed the appeal.

The city is 42 days into the 120 days given to go through the permitting process, about a third of the way through. A pubic hearing was scheduled for July 9 to go over plans thus far. However, the filing of the appeal letter on the final day of the appeal period has delayed the hearing.

City of Renton officials proposed a new public hearing date of July 30, but members of the citizens group have requested another date, said Jennifer Henning, city planning manger.

"I don't think it was a surprise," she said. "They've been involved and asking a lot of questions. We always expect that there's a possibility of an appeal until the appeal period ends. Anybody has a right to appeal."

The group is appealing the environmental determination that the City of Renton made public on June 21 in the Renton Reporter. The group is asking the library project team submit a full environmental impact statement that addresses the state environmental protection agency elements of the environmental impact, "fully and accurately" the letter states. Or, the group asks for "the project, as proposed, be modified to directly address and mitigate its likely significant environmental impacts on htese same elements of the environment."

City Attorney Larry Warren and Vanessa Dolby, a city senior planner, will update the council on the permitting process for the library over the Cedar River. Because it's just a briefing, the council is not expected to take any action in the regular council meeting at 7 p.m.

In April, the council voted to move forward with plans to build the 19,500-square-foot-library over the Cedar River. Also, the council has yet to decide how to raise the additional $1.5 million needed to fund the project. The budget was originally set at $10.4 million.


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