Legal costs ascend in SilverWing lawsuit

Print Article

A model hangar home is seen through a security gate at SilverWing at Sandpoint. (Photo by KEITH KINNAIRD)

SANDPOINT — Bonner County commissioners declared a financial emergency Wednesday to sustain its vigorous defense of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed by developers of SilverWing at Sandpoint.

The declaration enables the county to pull additional funding from a contingency account in the county’s justice fund to cover legal costs in the federal lawsuit.

The county budgeted $400,000 in the current fiscal year to fend off the suit and the emergency declaration increases that line item by another $450,000, for a total of $850,000.

The county spent $400,000 during the last fiscal year on the SilverWing suit.

“It’s the nature of the litigation and the risk is so high that we have to fight it aggressively,” said Commissioner Mike Nielsen, noting that an adverse judgment could cost taxpayers up to $26 million. “We cannot afford to ignore this litigation.”

SilverWing, a fly-in housing project under development on west side of Sandpoint Airport, filed suit in U.S. District Court last year, alleging that the county engaged in unfair dealings and violated the developers’ rights to equal protection under the law.

The 45-unit subdivision features hybrid dwellings that are part residence and part aircraft hangar. At the time of the suit’s filing, developers said $6.1 million had been spent grading home sites and installing utility and road infrastructure.

When the developers purchased the 18-acre site in 2007, an easement afforded through-the-fence access to the airport grounds.

SilverWing alleges in the suit that the county sought to shutter direct access to the airport under pressure from the Federal Aviation Administration and was not forthright about plans to relocate a runway, which it argues would encroach onto its property and conflict with a $500,000 taxiway it developed.

The matter is set to be tried in federal court this spring, according to Nielsen.

Print Article

Read More News

Seattle man sentenced for stealing F-350

June 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — A stolen vehicle chase in the night, on a snowy road earlier this year near Hayden Lake, ended in a prison term for a Seattle man. Levi G. Read, 26, was sentenced in Coeur d’Alene’s ...

Comments

Read More

Dover Bay announces Sandcreek Lofts

June 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Dover Bay Development has received approval to move forward with the new Sandcreek Lofts at Sandpoint Marina. “We’re excited to announce that we have received final site plan review and ...

Comments

Read More

Helicopter firm gets OK for Athol site

June 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press ATHOL — A growing Sandpoint-based helicopter company that offers firefighting, logging and ski lift construction operations plans to land in Kootenai County. Timberline Helicopters has received cond...

Comments

Read More

Coon earns top POST certification

June 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — It takes an exceptional police chief to earn the Peace Officer Standards and Training Executive Certificate. Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon is now among those who has been awarded that...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2017 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X