Aaaand, the pissing match is still going strong! Mayor Mike McGinn presented legal analysis today that proves the Seattle City Council is more than capable of discussing legislation that would move 100 homeless people onto industrial land in SODO this fall. What's more, he resubmitted his full legislative package concerning the SODO Sunny Jim Peanut Factory site to the council and requested that they "they give it prompt consideration so that we have a solution ready before next winter," according to a press release sent this afternoon.

This move comes after the city council shelved part of the mayor's legislation yesterday (after sitting on it for nearly two weeks) by explaining that legally, their hands were tied from discussing land use changes that would allow for the project until an environmental review of the site (also known as SEPA) was complete.

But: "It is within the Council's discretion to consider [the] legislation," confirms city attorney Patrick Downs in a legal brief (.pdf) of the council's actions. "The Council cannot, however, adopt the legislation until SEPA has been completed."

Not only is the city council's (in)action legally flawed, the mayor argues that it "will jeopardize setting up the encampment before next winter."

From the mayor's release:

Yesterday, the Council sent part of our legislative package back to us, saying that it "cannot legally take action on the proposed legislation until the environmental review, required by State law, is complete." This morning, we received a written legal opinion from the Law Department that contradicts the Council statement. According to Law, Council cannot take final action to approve a project before SEPA is complete. But there is no legal reason that Council may not take action to consider legislation while SEPA review is pending. That is all we ever expected.

And the council has considered legislation before SEPA results were in before. For example, in 2003, legislation was submitted to the council to encourage biotech uses in South Lake Union by amending the city's land use code. It was submitted to—and accepted by—the city council while the SEPA process was still underway. In fact, the land use committee forwarded the legislation to the full council prior to the SEPA being completed. The full council then held the legislation until the SEPA had been completed, at which time it was adopted.

Various members of city council have yet to return calls for comment. I'll update when they do.