Plans for Native American Cultural Center Violate Zoning Laws in Seattle

September 16, 1999

Source: The Seattle Times

On September 16, 1999, The Seattle Times reported that plans for a Native American "People's Lodge" at Discovery Park in Seattle were ruled to violate city zoning laws. The proposed 123,000-square-foot center included a 5,000-seat arena and a 500-seat theater. Those who opposed the construction of the complex saw it as a great idea, but the wrong location. Peter Buck representing opponents of the construction stated: "This facility as envisioned simply cannot be built in a park." Meredith Getches, the Hearing Examiner, claimed in her ruling that the city's director of the Department of Design, Construction and Land Use was wrong in finding that the proposed center was consistent with "community center" use, since the structure would function most as a "museum," which is not permitted in the park. Getches continued: "It is astonishing that during the 25 years since the idea for an Indian Cultural-Educational Center on this site was conceived, steps have not been taken to resolve the conflict between the uses envisioned and the zoning designation."