In a surprise ruling on New Year’s Eve, Judge Sean Dowling, changed his tentative ruling about a property owners plan to build a two story structure on what the county has identified as Visually Important Ridgeline. Special appointed attorney for Nevada county Michael Coluntuono, says he thought the judge had it right the first time. However, in December, Judge Dowling heard arguments from the property owners and county counsel.*
Coluntuono says the judge made his ruling on a theory that neither side had brought up.
In his ruling Dowling states that the property is deemed a conservation easement and may not be exacted in the permit process.
As a result of the new ruling, Coluntuono says the county is weighing its options.*
Peter Lockyer and Juliette Erickson have plans to build a two story structure located on a ridge off of Pleasant Valley Road in Penn Valley.
The attorney for the property owners has not returned call to KNCO.