BY DON NELSON
A lively crowd of about 150 people turned out last Saturday (July 6) for a barbecue, music and fundraising event at the Mazama Community Center.
The event was sponsored by Move the Hut, a local nonprofit organization that is fighting the placement of a small cabin on the brow of Flagg Mountain, where it is visible from many parts of the valley floor below – including the site of Saturday’s party.
Organizer Bill Pope reported that the event raised $3,000 for movethehut.org, the organization’s website, and about $2,100 for legal expenses related to a lawsuit alleging that the cabin’s construction violated restrictive covenants that were intended to protect views from the valley floor.
Pope added that a $30,000 “challenge fund” has been initiated by six Mazama-area couples. For every $1 donated to movethehut.org, the challenge fund will put in $2.
“We hope to raise another $13,000 in the next several weeks so the challenge is met and all the funds are available for the litigation,” Pope said in an email.
Among the speakers at the event was Seattle attorney David Bricklin, whose firm Bricklin & Newman is representing the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit is before Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Chris Culp. The defendants – the cabin’s Seattle-based owners James Dow, Tom and Jeannie Kundig, and Ben Rand – have challenged the legal standing of several plaintiffs to pursue the case.
Currently, Culp is considering a defendants’ request to dismiss Steve and Kristin Devin from the suit. The judge earlier dismissed Lee and Theresa Miller from the legal action but left John and Rayma Hayes as part of the suit.
Steve Devin and Bricklin acknowledged a bit of irony at Saturday’s event. Years ago, Bricklin was instrumental in the legal effort to stop a resort and downhill ski area near Mazama – a project Devin supported. Now Bricklin is Devin’s attorney.