By Marcy Stamper
The individual who has been challenging the Nordic Village development across from the Mazama Store has asked the judges of the Washington Court of Appeals to reconsider their ruling that the appeal had been filed too late, contending that the judges failed to recognize that previous decisions in the matter were based on false information presented to county officials.
The appeal is connected with an approval of Nordic Village by the Okanogan County commissioners based on inaccurate information about the developers’ water rights, and not with the decision by Okanogan County Superior Court as to whether a rezone of the property complied with state environmental law, argued Mazama resident Art Gresh.
The judges should instead have looked at the entire record in the case, which builds on a complex series of subdivisions and water allocations for two adjacent parcels in the Mazama core owned by developer Bill Percich, Gresh argued.
In addition, Michael Brady, Gresh’s attorney, argued that the court’s decision to award attorneys’ fees to Percich should be denied or the amount cut in half because the fees have not been itemized. Attorney Sandy Mackie with the law firm Perkins Coie billed a total of 166.4 hours but did not provide a detailed accounting of the fees, nor demonstrate that the appeal was “frivolous” because it was filed too late, argued Brady.
In its Dec. 5 opinion, the appeals court agreed with Mackie that the initial appeal had been filed too late and called it an “untimely collateral attack.”
The documents asking for reconsideration and denial of legal fees were filed with the Court of Appeals in Spokane on Dec. 23. The judges will review the request for reconsideration and decide whether a response from Percich’s attorneys is necessary before they make a decision, according to a court clerk. The filing of the petition for reconsideration suspends the 30-day deadline for an appeal to the state Supreme Court. There is no deadline for the appellate court to review the reconsideration request, she said.