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Court Upholds RV Park Developer’s Claim

April 13, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

The Court of Appeals has denied the city of Kennewick, Wash.’s Motion for Reconsideration. Currently, the city owes Columbia Park Golf Course (CPGC) approximately $3,655,000, KEPR-TV, Pasco, Wash., reported.

Back in February, a judge denied the city’s appeal and said city must pay up.

This case dates back five years when operators of the CPGC began talking about bringing in an RV park. When the idea was squashed, the golf course operator sued the city and won.

There’s a new name and new managers at the city’s golf course in Columbia Park, but some old problems still haunt the city over their golf course.

This latest ruling on Monday denying the city’s request to reconsider its appeal essentially means the city has lost three times in court. It’s still ordered to pay up to make up for mistakes made with the former operator, Gary Long.

But three strikes is not out for Kennewick. The city told KEPR it will take this to the Washington State Supreme Court.

This legal battle has gone on for five years. The crux of the lawsuit is that city officials made a deal with a different developer to build an RV park while letting long believe he could build it.

Lawsuit Timeline:

  • May 2006 — Long gets council vote of support.
  • January 2007 — Kennewick backs out.
  • February 2007 — Long sues city.
  • June 2009 — Long wins lawsuit and city appeals.
  • February 2011 — Court of Appeals upholds ruling and city files motion to reconsider.
  • April 2011 — Motion to reconsider denied.

Ever since the original judgement, interest has been accumulating to the tune of $1,000 a day. So now the city is on the hook for $3.6 million.

KEPR asked Kennewick City Attorney Lisa Beaton if that interest and the cost factors into the city’s decision moving forward.

“Absolutely it does factor in, but so do the merits of our argument,” said Beaton.

After talking to both sides, both told KEPR settlement options are still on the table.

But public opinion isn’t exactly on the city’s side. KEPR’s media partners at the Tri-City Herald put this question to you recently. “Should the city pay up or keep fighting?” And letter after letter, every one of these said it’s time to pay up and move on.

But the city attorney argues this ruling sets a state precedent and it’s too important to state law not to keep fighting. So it could be back to court again over the golf course issue that just won’t go away.

The city now has 30 days to file a petition to the Washington State Supreme Court.

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