JUNE 9, 1997

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Canterbury, city talks mired

Canterbury lawsuit by Andrew Walgamott
The city of Woodinville and the Canterbury Criers Association have yet to reach an agreement on rights-of-way and the development of vacant lots in the downtown Canterbury Square condominium park. A trial date has been set for the lawsuit the association filed last March for March, 1998.
   Canterbury is seeking to develop 6 lots along the northern edge of their property, where city ordinance has established rights-of-way. Canterbury is asking the city to either remove the encumbrance or reimburse the association for $700,000 for loss of property. The city, however, seeks an access through the area.
   According to Canterbury attorney David Bricklin, settlement between the city and Canterbury seemed possible following a May 1 meeting which produced a draft settlement. Bricklin said that he thought there had been a "meeting of the minds" during the session, but when Woodinville city attorney Wayne Tanaka commented on the draft, Bricklin said there had been fundamental changes made to the proposal, which wasn't available to the public.
   In a letter sent by Bricklin to Tanaka dated June 2, Bricklin states, "I really had to ask myself whether you and I had attended the same settlement meeting. Several of the changes you proposed in your letter would have resulted in a settlement document fundamentally different than the one we discussed at the meeting."
   Bricklin said that the city wanted access easements regardless of whether Canterbury received any compensation, and said that the city requested Canterbury dismiss the lawsuit. Bricklin said that Canterbury had been seeking a solution to the lawsuit for a year and half and had been given the run-around by the city council, city staff, and the city attorney.
   "They're treating us like pariahs," Bricklin said. "It's like we're seeking to build a World Trade Center."
   Bricklin reaffirmed his client's choice to take the issue to court.
   "Your letter made me feel better than ever with our decision to file the lawsuit. It appears that a judicial determination will be the only way we can truly get this matter resolved," Bricklin wrote.
   "From the city's perspective, it looked like we were ready for an agreement after the May 1 meeting," Tanaka said, but continued that there had been misunderstandings of the city's position. He added that a final settlement would have to be approved by the City Council.
   George Scrimshaw of Canterbury Square said the city had "busted their butts" to get the TRF project and Brittany Park in, but said the city was "waffling" on an agreement with Canterbury. "The whole idea appears to be to delay the decision so time runs out for us," Scrimshaw said.
   He noted that four city council seats were coming up for election in the fall and that 8 percent of the city's registered voters lived in Canterbury.
   Tanaka said there were no scheduled meetings with Canterbury, but expected phone conversations to continue.