Point Edwards developer sues Edmonds City Council over Building 10 decision
Stating that the Edmonds City Council “acted outside of its authority,” the developer of Point Edwards has sued the City of Edmonds, Edmonds City Council President Lora Petso, the Town of Woodway and numerous individual citizens following the council’s decision to reverse the City Architectural Design Board’s approval of plans for Building Number 10, a five-story, 85-unit multi-family residence proposed for Point Edwards.
The lawsuit was filed by Edmonds Pine Street LLC and Weber Thompson Architects in Snohomish County Superior Court Dec. 3. Edmonds Pine Street owns the Point Edwards property and Weber Thompson is acting as the project agent, the lawsuit said. You can view the document here.
Following the Architectural Design Board’s decision, the City Council served as a quasi-judicial body in hearing the appeals of several citizens — including those with private property near the proposed building as well as current Point Edwards residents — plus representatives of the Town of Woodway. Those opposing the board’s decision as part of an official “closed record appeal” before the council, said that proposed structure — known as Building 10 because it is the final of 10 to be built in the development — not only doesn’t fit the character of Edmonds, it also is out of scale with the remaining nine Point Edwards buildings.
The lawsuit claims that Council President Petso “personally orchestrated the council review, forcing the council to consider issues not properly raised in the appeals, introducing and then relying on speculation and facts outside the closed record and exhibiting prejudgment bias.” The suit also said the city council “engaged in unlawful procedure, acted on an erroneous interpretation of the law, rendered a decision not supported by substantial evidence, made a clearly erroneous application application of the law to the facts,” and also acted outside of its authority. In addition, the suit says the council violated the plaintiffs’ rights under the Washington State Constitution.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to reverse the city council’s decision and uphold the ruling of the Architectural Design Board and are also seeking attorney fees and costs from the City of Edmonds. The action was filed following the city council’s Nov. 12 oral decision but prior to its most recent action Dec. 17 to approve the written findings of fact and conclusion. The lawsuit did request permission from the court “to amend this petition upon any adoption of a written decision,” so an amended filing may be forthcoming.
During the first part of the closed-record review, on Oct. 16, Rick Gifford, land use attorney for Pine Street LLC, told the council that “it has been planned and known since 2002 that there would be a large multi-family building on this project.” The Architectural Design Board followed the city’s own design guidelines in unanimously approving the building, Gifford added.