By Marcy Stamper
The Washington Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by a Mazama resident against the Nordic Village development, saying that the appeal had been filed too late.
The court also awarded attorney’s fees to developer Bill Percich, who had obtained several permits from Okanogan County to subdivide and, later, rezone property across from the Mazama Store to create the 12-unit Nordic Village development, devoted half to residential units and half to commercial units.
Appellant Art Gresh had challenged the county’s approval of the development based on a complicated water-allocation formula that divided a single exempt well among the 12 units and a neighboring parcel also owned by Percich.
The court called the case a very simple procedural issue, regarding the timeliness of the appeal, and said that the merits of the case were beyond the reach of the court, said Sandy Mackie, Percich’s attorney.
The court did not address arguments about the county’s authority to allow Percich to provide water for the development, saying that state land use law does not permit such “untimely collateral attacks.”
The court also did not comment on a friend-of-the-court brief submitted by the Washington attorney general on behalf of the Department of Ecology, urging the judges to look more closely at a recent Supreme Court decision on water use.
The majority of the opinion, issued Dec. 5, was devoted to the question of legal fees. The only mention of the water issue was in a footnote that said, “Like Mr. Gresh, this court has a hard time understanding how the 12 lots hope to subsist on only 2,880 gallons of water per day combined,” but left it to Okanogan County to enforce the conditions for the development.
Gresh and his attorney are reviewing the opinion and their options, said his attorney Michael Brady.