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Originally published Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 3:59 PM

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Seattle city attorney files suit against another anti-tunnel measure

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes filed a lawsuit Wednesday against another anti-tunnel measure, Initiative 101.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a second anti-tunnel measure, Initiative 101.

Holmes said the initiative, which seeks to ban use of city streets and utilities for the Highway 99 waterfront tunnel, is beyond the scope of the city's initiative power and interferes with the state's authority to build a state highway.

As he did with an anti-tunnel referendum two weeks ago, Holmes is asking a judge to declare the initiative illegal before it is sent to a citywide vote. A hearing is expected in May.

King County Elections determined this week that I-101 had received enough valid signatures — 21,173 — to qualify for the ballot.

Elizabeth Campbell, leader of the I-101 effort, called the lawsuit "a travesty" that deprives residents of their democratic right to vote on the pricey tunnel project.

On March 29, Holmes filed a suit against a referendum that would ask Seattle voters to approve or reject agreements already in place between the city and state to proceed on the deep-bore tunnel.

Holmes said both measures deal with administrative actions by the City Council, not legislative or policy decisions, and so are not subject to referendum or initiative.

He said the tunnel agreements carry out earlier policy decisions including the City Council's 2009 memorandum with the state Department of Transportation selecting the tunnel as the council's "preferred solution" to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Lynn Thompson: 206-464-8305 or lthompson@seattletimes.com

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