APRIL 7, 1997
City awaits lawsuit papers
by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter
A $700,000 lawsuit filed March 27 by the Canterbury Criers Association against Woodinville was assigned to Judge Rothstein at United States District Court in Seattle last week. The lawsuit alleges that the city has denied Canterbury the use of 11 lots on its property. The city contends the lots are in proposed right-of-ways that the county and city have established. Canterbury asks for compensation for not being allowed to develop the lots.
The city is currently waiting for legal papers before they respond, according to City Manager Joe Meneghini. "At this point, we are simply waiting for them," Meneghini said.
The suit was filed, according to Canterbury attorney David Bricklin, "because the city has refused to modify an illegal ordinance which has the effect of establishing right-of-ways in the city without compensating property owners." Bricklin said his clients filed the lawsuit to "be freed of these restrictions. We want to be allowed to use our property, or if the city wants it, pay for it."
The city is concerned with traffic circulation downtown. "We've been waiting to hear from them in terms of potential discussion of the grid roads and how best to handle traffic and traffic congestion downtown. We're very much interested in sitting down and working with them and addressing their concerns and the need for proper traffic circulation in the downtown area," said Meneghini.
"We didn't create the problem," said Canterbury Square president George Scrimshaw. "But we want it resolved. We have to protect our interest and the interest of all the individuals," Scrimshaw said of the residents who own "horizontal" condominiums at Canterbury. He said the average age of the residents was 73, and the average income was $1,250 a month. Not being allowed to build on the 11 lots is keeping them from marketing the properties.
"It's important that their assets not be tied up," Scrimshaw said.