Nevada County Supervisors yesterday voted to reject spending more money for lawyers in the ongoing visually important ridgeline case.
The county has already spent $425-thousand dollars in legal fees and that would have risen to $675-thousand dollars if the board had approved the additional payment to the law firm Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley. Nevada County Counsel, Alison Barratt-Green says the county is a defendant in the case brought by Juliet Erickson and Peter Lockyer, the property owners.
The county is requiring the Lockyers to maintain existing trees at the bottom edge of their property in order to screen a ridgetop office- garage. Barratt-Green says it involves the county’s effort to balance the Lockyers ability to develop their parcel with the rights of their neighbors and the broader community to preserve a ridgeline.
Barratt- Green says this is really no different than what the county does in requiring a landowner to set a building back from a street, to use certain building materials or to limit a building’s height.
During public comment several people spoke in favor of the property owners and urged the county to settle this case, including Juliet Erickson, one of the plaintiffs.
But, County counsel says they have reached out to the plaintiffs.
click to listen to Alison Barratt-Green
The Boards vote was 3 to 2 and four votes were needed to pass.
Supervisors Dan Miller and Richard Anderson voted against the payment, but Supervisor Miller made some comments before his vote.
Miller went on to say “It doesn’t take courage to do what they have done, but arrogance and a misguided sense of entitlement.”
A Superior Court judge is expected to rule on the case by mid July.