The Fort Lawton Army Reserve Complex includes three contiguous United States Army Reserve Centers (USARC), including Second Lieutenant Robert R. Leisy USARC, Captain James R. Harvey USARC, and Fort Lawton USARC (FLARC). Located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, the Reserve complex abuts the nearby 550-acre Discovery Park to the west and south, and a primarily residential neighborhood of single-family homes to the north and east. The Reserve Complex property consists of approximately 45 acres, including 11 buildings and a military cemetery. The Federal government plans to retain approximately 16 acres of the site that contains the existing FLARC building, supporting parking, and the military cemetery. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to use the FLARC building for clinical and administrative uses.
The City of Seattle, as the recognized Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) for Fort Lawton, undertook a public involvement effort to prepare the Redevelopment Plan. The public involvement process began in September 2006, with meetings held in September, October and December. Due to the significance of both Discovery Park and homeless services to the broader Seattle community, one of these meetings was held in a central city location outside the Fort Lawton neighborhood of Magnolia. The Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) created a Web page on the City’s Web site for all the LRA information on Fort Lawton, including meeting notices, BRAC information, meeting notes, and other public information. An e-mail address for Fort Lawton comments also was provided to the community.
The final Redevelopment Plan, adopted in September 2008, calls for mixed income residential development, with 108 to 125 market rate residential units, a 55-unit building for homeless seniors, 30 units for homeless families, and 6 self-help homeownership units by Habitat for Humanity. The Plan also includes wildlife habitat, open space, and parks. Following adoption of the Redevelopment Plan, the Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council filed suit against the City of Seattle alleging violations of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). A judge ruled in March 2009 that the City had failed to follow SEPA requirements in its preparation of the Fort Lawton reuse plan. Ultimately, this ruling was upheld in the appeals process. The City is considering the next steps in light of this judicial action.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a final determination that the Redevelopment Plan and Homeless Assistance Application complies with the Base Closure Community Redevelopment and Homeless Assistance Act of 1994 as amended on September 14, 2010. The Army is expected to complete its Environmental Assessment in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act with mixed use as the preferred alternative.
For more information about the challenges the City of Seattle faced, click here.