Trilliumappeals Seagrass decision

Published on Thu, Nov 10, 2005 by ack Kintner

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Trillium appeals Seagrass decision

By J ack Kintner

The Trillium Corporation is appealing Blaine City Council’s October 24 decision against the 22-acre Seagrass condominium project to Whatcom County Superior Court.

Court papers were served on the city last Thursday consisting of an 18-page court petition based on a 40-page legal opinion by Olympia attorney Sandy Mackie, Trillium’s counsel. In it, Mackie claims that the city made legal mistakes in its treatment of appeals to rulings by Blaine Community Development Director, Terry Galvin acting as the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) officer for Blaine. Mackie also says the city wrongly interpreted the Marine Planned Recreation Zone, the Semiahmoo Master Plan and various shoreline regulations that apply to the project.

Trillium vice president Wayne Schwandt said that “The unfortunate truth of the matter is that there are statutory and code requirements to legally protect our interests, and time limits for filing appeals. Our goal is to resolve this thing without litigation, so while we’re proceeding we still have the door open to other ways of working this out.”

In his filing, Mackie predicted the appeal would eliminate many of the restrictions imposed on the project by Galvin and by the Blaine Planning Commission, open up the time allowed for construction in the area, reverse the city’s insistence on clustering the various units together and could even result in Trillium being awarded financial damages, unusual in a land use case like this

“We’ve been there a long time and plan to be there for a long time to come,” said Schwandt, “so we’d like to sit down and work this thing out before we get into court. I hope we can do that, and Terry and I agreed to stay in conversation.”

The case will be heard in the Whatcom County Courthouse before Judge Stephen Mura. No trial date has been set.