In the latest legal action in the ongoing controversy over whether the City of Edmonds has the right under a 1983 easement to build an elevated walkway across the private beach in front of the Ebb Tide Condominiums, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued its ruling Monday denying Ebb Tide’s appeal. The ruling upholds the lower court finding that building this walkway is consistent with the terms of the existing easement.
The issue comes down to how to interpret the language of the 1983 easement agreement between the City of Edmonds and the Ebb Tide granting the city a 100-foot-long, 10-foot wide pathway across the tideflats in front of the Ebb Tide. The city maintains that the easement allows construction of the proposed walkway on this easement while the Ebb Tide maintains that it does not, and both sides have turned to the courts for a decision.
The issue has been in the courts since 2017, when the City of Edmonds asked the court for a declaratory judgment that would allow it to move forward with the project. After five years and more than 300 court filings, on Oct. 16, 2022, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Millie M. Judge ruled in the city’s favor. This opened the way for Edmonds to move forward with construction of an elevated walkway to connect the north and south sections of the Waterfront Promenade.
The Ebb Tide Homeowners’ Association immediately filed a notice of appeal to the Washington State Court of Appeals Division 1, restating its argument that the city’s proposed action is not allowed under the terms of the 1983 easement, and asking it to reverse the lower court decision.
“We are clearly disappointed with today’s Appeals Court decision,” said Ebb Tide Homeowners’ Association President Tom Drouin. “We are looking into our options about moving forward.”
For a complete history of the issue including links to proposed construction drawings and relevant court documents, see My Edmonds News’ earlier story here.
— By Larry Vogel