Landownerappeals latest adverse court decision

Published on Thu, Jan 5, 2006 by eg Olson

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Landowner appeals latest adverse court decision

By Meg Olson

The city of Blaine is getting closer to owning the last chunk of land destined to be home to the boardwalk, but not without a stiff fight.
Isac Feldstein is appealing another superior court decision, this one a jury verdict giving the Feldstein family $18,800 for an easement across their three properties on Peace Portal Drive, where the city plans to build a connecting section of the boardwalk.

In a November 23 decision superior court judge Steven Mura issued a decree of appropriation giving the city the easement and awarding the Feldsteins substantially less than they or the city had anticipated.
After the courts first granted the city an order of public use and necessity in February 2005 to compel Feldstein to sell them the easement, Blaine offered $57,500, according to court documents.

Feldstein asked for a million dollars as compensation for the easement after an August 2005 ruling by the state court of appeals that upheld the previous superior court decision, according to city manager Gary Tomsic. Feldstein’s own appraiser had valued the easement at $106,000. Blaine withdrew its offer before going to trial on the amount November 18, and the jury returned with a verdict that “just compensation” for the easement and easement area was $18,800.
The funds will not be released until the appeal and review, requested on December 23 by Feldstein’s attorney Charles Maduell of Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, is concluded. “He thinks the verdict is unlawful,” Maduell said of his client’s reason for appealing the decision.

Tomsic said construction was underway on the two street end plazas that will anchor the boardwalk and construction would proceed on the project regardless of future appeals. “We have already been awarded use and possession of the property, now it’s just a matter of how much we pay him,” he said.