Editor's Note: Elizabeth Campbell on Tuesday, Nov. 27, filed her campaign for Seattle City Council District 7.

The Seattle Hearing Examiner on Tuesday cleared the city to expand its Interbay tiny house village.

Interbay was one of the three original villages set up to temporarily house the homeless in 2016, moving to Port of Seattle property near the Magnolia Bridge in November 2017.

Interbay Village encompasses 11,300 square feet of the port’s Tsubota property, with 30 tiny houses accommodating about 60 residents with Tiny Cabins Safe Harbor, formerly Tent City 5.

The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections issued a six-month temporary use permit for an 18,000-square-foot encampment in July, which triggered the need for a SEPA environmental review. Magnolia resident Elizabeth Campbell and her Safe and Affordable Seattle (SAS) group filed an appeal to the Hearing Examiner after the SDCI director determined the expansion would not cause any significant environmental impacts.

The Hearing Examiner heard arguments on Oct. 23.

“The Appellants presented testimony from Elizabeth Campbell, and no expert or other fact witnesses,” according to the Hearing Examiner’s decision. “… In large part Ms. Campbell seemed to be reading from the Appellants’ Notice of Appeal. No evidence aside from Ms. Campbell’s personal experience and opinion was offered.”

The Hearing Examiner had dismissed four of six of Campbell’s issues with the SEPA checklist, with the environmental effects of the air, noise and transportation near the site being the remaining issue of focus.

Campbell argued in her appeal that the city did not identify the harm that could be caused by “thousands of motor vehicles” traveling near the tiny village at 1601 15th Ave. W.

“This intentional omission of such a fact and its impacts is so material that it means that the residents of the encampment will receive no mitigation — in reality — protection from the harmful effects of living in such a situation,” the appeal states.

The city effectively argued tiny villages will not be permanent, and so a six-month permit could be issued, and that it had adequately considered environmental impacts as required under SEPA review, according to the decision.

Campbell has 21 days from the date of the examiner's decision to seek judicial review

The Seattle Human Services Department held a community meeting on Oct. 30 to gather feedback about Interbay Village, ahead of a decision regarding renewing the village for another year. Everyone spoke positively about the tiny village at the meeting, except Neighborhood Safety Alliance president Cindy Pierce, who expressed general criticism about the city’s handling of the homelessness crisis.

Read the Hearing Examiner’s decision below.

Interbay Village MUP-18-019 (TU,W) Findings and Decision by branax2000 on Scribd