Property owner agrees to let city onto his land
EVERETT - When push came to shove last week to fix a public road, a hesitant landowner offered the city permission to enter onto his land under threat of condemnation.
But the city may go ahead with condemnation proceedings anyway.
For the past year, a section of the Lowell-Larimer Road has been narrowed to one lane for safety reasons. The shoulder of the road collapsed in a landslide. The repair is a quick fix, but it requires the city to get permission to come onto an adjacent landowner’s property to do the work.
That landowner, Hugh Henrickson, had not budged in six months of negotiating with the city. He’s primarily concerned work trucks would damage his farm fields. Because of this impasse, the city began condemnation proceedings against Henrickson’s property in the 5900 block of Lowell-Larimer Road before the City Council last week.
In a last-minute move, Henrickson offered written permission to let city workers enter his property at last week’s council meeting.
To get the road fixed, Henrickson offered Everett “full right to enter and construct their road repair project,” asking that the repair does not negatively affect his farming operation in a statement handed to the council.
“If what has been verbally described to me works to protect my land and future interests, we’re good to go,” the statement says.
Despite Henrickson’s offer, city attorney Jim Iles recommended going ahead with the condemnation proceeding.
Council President Ron Gipson told Iles at the meeting he wouldn’t allow the condemnation back on the council agenda. This week’s agenda includes a briefing on the condemnation before the final vote scheduled for Wednesday, July 18.
“I listened to you, but I won’t put it on the council agenda,” Gipson said. “He’s here on record saying, ‘come on my property’.”
The city wants to begin construction around August or September before the fall rainy season.
The issue is now down to the eleventh hour, city properties manager Mike Palacios said previously.
The city has $4 million set aside to fix this landslide and two others in the city.
In April, the City Council approved setting aside that money to cover fixing landslides that closed a road to Howarth Park, the Stratton Hill neighborhood and this project.
The city estimates it will cost $450,000 to fix the Lowell-Larimer landslide.