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Montlake Community Club raising funds for appeal in legal fight to save neighborhood market

Neighbors in Montlake are putting more community money into the legal fight to save a neighborhood market. The Montlake Community Club has announced it will pony up another $29,000 to launch an appeal after a September ruling against a lawsuit seeking to save the Montlake Boulevard Market and gas station from condemnation to make way for construction of an expanded 520 through the neighborhood.

“The MCC and our attorney, Dave Bricklin, argued that WSDOT did not consider the environmental impacts associated with closing the Montlake Market,” the club’s update on the lawsuit reads. “By intervening in the case, the MCC hoped to strengthen the argument for saving the market and force WSDOT to consider alternatives.”

A King County Superior Court judge ruled against the lawsuit in September, according to the club. The community club expects the appeal to be heard in January.

CHS reported on the early days of outcry in the summer of 2016 after the Washington State Department of Transportation announced it was planning to acquire the property likely to be impacted by the new 520 design and what will be a changing grade around a planned onramp. “We determined in the 2011 environmental impact statement that we’d have to close three of the four driveway accesses into the gas station,” a WSDOT spokesperson told CHS at the time. “The gas station and market are business tenants on the property. The change in driveway access will affect the operations of both tenants.”

Construction on the Seattle-side features of the new 520 has been slated to begin in “late 2018,” according to WSDOT. Years of construction will include the “West Approach Bridge South, Montlake lid and interchange, and land bridge over the highway, Portage Bay Bridge, 10th Avenue East and Delmar Drive East lid, and I-5 connections.” A second bascule bridge over the Montlake Cut is also planned. The land currently home to the market and service station has been planned to be put to use as a “staging area” during the years of construction.

The Montlake Blvd Market, or Hop-In as old-timers and those with deeper Montlake roots might call it, lists an opening year of 1936. UPDATE: It is currently owned by Scott Iverson and a company called BTF Enterprises, according to the city business permit. In addition to the grocery, deli, and gas station frequented by residents, 520 commuters, and plenty of Huskies, the property also is the location of things like the neighborhood Christmas tree lot and many a charity car wash. The property’s owner is Lynne Parrott, a Clyde Hill resident and Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman, Jr.’s niece, according to King County records. The property has a taxable value of $1.4 million but will likely command a higher price tag.

In addition to the coming surge of construction work related to 520, the area will also see construction of changes to the 23rd Ave corridor as Seattle “Vision Zero” work begins again in 2018. The Montlake business community, meanwhile, welcomed Capitol Hill ex-pat gay bar Purr this summer.


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3 thoughts on “Montlake Community Club raising funds for appeal in legal fight to save neighborhood market

  1. Personally, I don’t have a stake in whether the Montlake market stays or goes.

    What I do find objectionable is the way people increasingly abused/misused the environmental review process for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the environment.