City Hall

Council Gives Nod to Tunnel Initiative Challenge

By Erica C. Barnett May 31, 2011

The city council, with lone tunnel opponent Mike O'Brien absent, voted 8-0 today to authorize City Attorney Pete Holmes to sue proponents of Initiative 101, the anti-tunnel initiative (not to be confused with the anti-tunnel referendum that will likely go on the ballot in August). Initiative 101, filed by a group called Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel, would theoretically bar the state from building a tunnel in city right-of-way.

A judge found that Holmes did not have standing in the lawsuit against the initiative.

The resolution says the council "finds that it is appropriate to seek a judicial determination of whether proposed Initiative 101 is within the scope of the people's initiative power before the Council makes a decision to place the initiative or a competing measure on the ballot."

Council president Richard Conlin said this afternoon, "I really can't imagine why anyone would be opposed to this legal action proceeding. I don't know why anyone would want to have a illegal law in front of the public. That would be mystifying."

The initiative gets its first hearing at 1:30 pm on June 3 before King County Superior Court judge Joan DuBuque.
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