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Proposal to vacate Occidental Avenue for new Sonics arena moves closer to reality

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SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle City Council committee has voted in favor of vacating a street needed in order to construct a proposed arena in Seattle's stadium district.

The Sustainability and Transportation committee voted 4 to 1 during its meeting Tuesday. Councilmembers Mike O'Brien, Tim Burgess, Rob Johnson and Bruce Harrell voted in favor of the street vacation, while Sally Bagshaw voted against the proposal.

The street vacation will now be forwarded to the full City Council for a vote. The vacation of Occidental Avenue is the final major step in the arena proposed by investor Chris Hansen in the hopes of luring an NBA or an NHL team to Seattle and would lead to the issuing of a master use permit.

The project has faced strong opposition from the Port of Seattle with concerns about traffic and more infringement on the maritime industrial area surrounding the stadium district.