Friday, April 3, 2015

The Neighbor Who Wanted To Ignore the CC&Rs

When we got back from our trip to Sacramento, we had a letter from Brandon demanding $30,000 from us or he would sue us for $60,000 for trespassing on his land, and for making false and misleading statements about him to the Planning and Zoning Commission.  My first reaction was rage, and then I realized that this was just a stupid attempt at intimidating us into not fighting his requst for a Conditional Use Permit.  Settling a $60,000 suit for $30,000 is not something any competent attorney would propose; better to risk going to trial.

The trespassing, involved us walking along the fence line between his property and that of another lot, photographing his property for a presentation to the P&Z.   Idaho law requires either that the land be fully enclosed by a fence, or have NO TRESPASSING signs.  The maximum civil penalty for trespass is twice the value of any damaged or lost livestock.  His demand for $20,000 in damages must involve some very valuable earthworms we crushed.

Anyway, it was apparent that no lawyer would file such a suit (except to loot Brandon by filing it), so we are ignoring his demand.  My wife read the letter at the P&Z hearing, and to say that they were upset about it is an understatement.  Brandon set of a grenade in his own wagon with this demand.  At the P&Z hearing last night, Brandon made a statement that so enraged one of the commissioners that I briefly thought he was going to leap the table to get at Brandon.  While the final vote has been delayed, it seems clear that the CUP is not going to happen.  One of the commissioners pointed out that one of the conditions for the CUP would include widening the road into the subdivision to an all-weather 24' wide road to conform to fire code, and Brandon admitted that he could not afford to do that.

 One of our neighbors from the top of the hill with the airstrip came to speak against the project, not just as a neighbor who would be affected by noise and fire hazard, but she is a helicopter pilot who fights fires, and had been flying one of the choppers that put out the wildfire that threatened our subdivision in 2012.  Her comments about increased fire risk and the inadequacy of the road in were pretty effective.

4 comments:

Robin said...

Unfortunately, Idaho is among the states that lack a SLAPP law but as you note, the threat was not merely frivolous but laughable.

Mauser said...

Mmmm, home with an airstrip.... Someday....

w said...

Can you elaborate on what he said or did that got the ire of the commissioner? Are you referring to his quasi-extortion of you with the settlement demand?

Not a good idea to piss off judges or any other official at hearings! Sounds like a real great guy. //Sarcasm

Tell him to buy a property in Ada or Canyon County with a big parking lot and a four lane paved road if he wants to get into the wedding reception business. Simplot's property comes to mind. I think that white elephant is still sitting vacant. No governor is ever likely to live in it. You could probably even have a helipad there for those who want to fly in or out.

Clayton Cramer said...

Hey claimed the P & Zoning staff contradicted what the staff attorney (who wasn't there) said previously.