December 30, 2005

Lawsuit filed against district

By Lynda James

On Dec. 14, Woodside Park Units 5 & 6 Homeowners Association and Christie Investments, LLC filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment in the 11th Judicial District Court against Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District.

The lawsuit asks the Court to declare invalid an alleged easement on Lot 132 for a reservoir and that the lot shall be used solely as a single family residence per the Woodside plat and covenants. The case also asks for the award of costs and attorney fees.

The Woodside Reservoir would provide drinking water by the WOWMD to the proposed Tanglewood Reserve Planned Unit Development.

The petition relates this case to one filed in 1998. District Judge Charles Barton recently ruled in favor of Woodside Park Units 5 & 6 HOA. That case determined the invalidity of a road easement across a residential lot. The case was filed after Park County began road construction across the private lot.

The 2005 petition says the core underlying subject matter in both cases is the same and lists eight core issues.

Several of the issues revolve around the Woodside Park Unit 5 plat and covenants that restrict lots to residential use. Both were recorded in the Park County Clerk and Recorder’s Office on Dec. 4, 1979.

The petition states that in December 1980, the Woodside Park developers conveyed the reservoir easement in violation of the previously recorded plat and covenants.

Michael Schaefer, attorney for Woodside, Unit 5 and 6 and owner of Lot 132, said a footnote on the plat reserves an unidentified irrigation ditch easement across Lot 132, not a reservoir easement. His deed also does not contain a reservoir easement.

These statements were made during the Dec. 15 Board of County Commissioner’s hearing on the Final Plat for Tanglewood Reserve.

The law firm of Duncan, Ostander and Dingess is representing Schaefer’s personal interest in Lot 132.

Issue 3 asks if the easement notation on the plat meets legal requirements of specifying a legal description, purpose, use, and grantee.

Issue 6 asks whether a different use of the easement than what is expressed on the plat is legal and if not, does that constitute an abandonment of any easement.

Other issues involve the “unequivocal intent to dedicate” the easement by the developer and if a non-residential easement violates the “solely for residential purposes” specifically upheld in the 1998 case.

WOWMD President, Richard Angelica said, “Our attorneys are still reviewing the case, so I have no comment at this time. But WOWMD will actively defend our water rights and easement rights that have been decreed by water court.”

“ We are confident we will prevail. We have the facts on our side. Public records and the Land Use Regulations support our position,” said WPHOA, Units 5 & 6 President Robert Nevadomski. “Since 2000, we have said they didn’t have the easements. The BOCC ignored us during the Kanne proceedings. Now they are ignoring the (Woodside) plat and the LURs.”

Nevadomski concluded by saying, “After eight years, we are still in litigation over a wrongful decision by the BOCC. Again, Woodside has to go to court to defend ourselves against the actions of the BOCC.”

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