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Judge postpones Firs Mobile Home appeal decision; says more time needed

By Jack Mayne [1]

King County Superior Court Judge LeRoy McCullough on Friday morning (March 30) postponed the decision on an appeal by the residents of the Firs Mobile Home Park of approval by a SeaTac hearing examiner of a decision that allowed the park to close and the property redeveloped possibly for hotels and other higher uses.

“I did not have time to get through the voluminous record,” the judge said in a written statement released via his court bailiff. There is no specific date or time for a new hearing, the court said.

Appeal
The Firs residents said in their appeal that “mobile home park owners and residents are subject to reasonable regulation, which include carefully balanced requirements for closing a mobile home park: At least one-year proper notice of intent to close a mobile home park, cooperative formulation and implementation of a relocation plan to successfully relocate all residents of the mobile home park before a mobile home park can be closed and converted to another land use.”

About 200 persons once lived in the Firs Mobile Home Park, about half adults and half children, ranging in age from infants to college students. Most Firs adult residents are employed, many holding two jobs, in construction, security, maintenance, teaching, retail, hotels or restaurants, or own their own businesses providing employment, economic vitality and paying taxes. Some are elderly, disabled or retired. They contribute to an active, cohesive, friendly Firs community that animates and energizes the local economy. Some have resided in the Firs Mobile Home Park for many years, while others have moved after the decision of the owner to redevelop the land.

Port of Seattle backing
After a note from the Firs Home Owners Association, all five commissioners of the Port of Seattle on March 28 sent a letter supporting “economic diversity, workforce development and healthy, livable communities.”

“We recognize and sympathize with the difficulty of your situation,” the letter said. “The Port believes strongly that all residents of King County deserve equitable access to stable affordable housing. While the Port lacks legal authority to invest in housing or provide land, we will support the Firs Community where we have the ability to do so.

“We encourage you to continue to work with the City of SeaTac, King County, the King County Housing Authority and the Washington Legislature as the agencies with direct authority and resources to address this issue. Please keep us informed of your ongoing work with these entities, including funding options and state legislation.”

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