Followup: Beach Drive slide fight – see the lawsuit

January 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm | In Development, Environment, Safety, West Seattle news | 18 Comments

(WSB photo of the view yesterday from behind the “ecology blocks” at the bottom of the sliding Beach Drive slope)
A few followup notes since our report yesterday on the City Council Transportation Committee‘s briefing about the repeat slides in the 6000-6200 block of Beach Drive SW: We have obtained from the City Attorney’s Office a copy of the lawsuit that was filed in 2009, after, they allege, the upslope property owner was failing to comply with city code. We couldn’t find it online, but they responded to our request by sending a scanned copy; see it here. Meantime, we have learned that the meeting with neighbors and city officials tonight, mentioned during yesterday’s hearing, is closed to the media, but at least one participant is promising a summary. The other “next step” mentioned at the council committee hearing, a closed “executive session” to discuss where the legal fight stands, is tentatively scheduled for February 22nd.

18 Comments

  1. It’s great and amazing to have real journalism in our local community! Applause!

    Why is meeting closed to media? Is that acceptable to you?

    Thanks.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 3:17 pm January 26, 2011 #

  2. I hope that house is well tied into the hillside, as the slope looks like it could slide. Looking up you don’t seem much vegetation either… Spooky stuff.

    Too bad as it’s a beautiful home otherwise.

    Comment by CB — 3:27 pm January 26, 2011 #

  3. If it’s at a private home, there is no requirement that media be allowed, if the host says no. Elected officials are not involved, so there’s no issue of open-meeting laws being violated. (I have gone to them about it too.) I am rather persistent but the host is rather resolute. There are times when you elbow your way through the fire no matter who says what, and there are times when you say – OK, I will respect your decision even if I don’t agree with it. If there was any issue of it not legally being a closed meeting, I’d be there on the doorstep with a lawyer. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:27 pm January 26, 2011 #

  4. We are lucky to have you in the community. There’s a dearth of persistent print journalism nowadays. Not much continuity and follow-up. I always mention you to friends as an example of real journalism in a new era. More applause! (The crowd roars.)

    Comment by I. Ponder — 3:32 pm January 26, 2011 #

  5. The home in question here was actually featured recently in some sort of online national architecture journal – it kept coming up in my standing Twitter search for West Seattle references … I can’t re-find the link now unfortunately.

    Comment by WSB — 3:34 pm January 26, 2011 #

  6. http://www.lawrencearchitecture.com/West%20Seattle%20Residence2.html

    Comment by CB — 3:43 pm January 26, 2011 #

  7. That house is gorgeous.

    Rather amusing… Saladino seems to be president of a construction company.

    Comment by James — 5:04 pm January 26, 2011 #

  8. Not to be forgotten, three or four houses North of the Saladino home the property owners cut down and removed 20 or more trees. This far exceeded their filed plan with the city. My understanding is the city has sued them to replant the hillside. The city waited two years for the permit to lapse before they filed suit. This is the same hillside and could have contributed to the on going problem. It would be helpful if we could be sure the city did file the promised lawsuit and it was made available. These homeowners simply decided they wanted a view and the safety of the hillside be dammed.

    Comment by larry d — 7:18 pm January 26, 2011 #

  9. larry d’s contribution – “These homeowners simply decided they wanted a view and the safety of the hillside be dammed.” – contains an inherently nihilistic implication to those he castigates.
    -
    Something is delightful about seriously positing people devoting great time, passion and money to be able to live in their dream home, an absolutely stunning home and a home with an absolutely stunning view, only to intentionally wash away the home’s foundation to destroy this home and their dream.

    Comment by Nulu — 9:49 am January 27, 2011 #

  10. Nulu — I really think it’s time you come clean and tell us all how you’re related to these hillside properties. Clearly your views are 180 degrees different from everyone else’s. Bravo for your use of nice big words to emphasize your point, though. Perhaps you should work harder to camouflage your the reasons for your skewed perspective.

    Comment by Upset — 10:38 am January 27, 2011 #

  11. Upset,
    It appears to be that you have not even read the factual responses to your own posts and now it’s time for me to come clean.
    Before, I failed to state that I have no property interests/own no land anywhere along the Beach Drive hillside corridor.
    Clearly my views are not 180 degrees different from everyone else. And if they were, would that make them wrong?
    -
    I am a builder of houses in Critical Areas and I do suffer the ignorant opinions expressed here.
    I do pay for and trust the best technical sources on both sides of the permitting process. Construction on these steep slopes is governed by a baroque, shifting, incomprehensible Critical Areas Code interpreted, sometimes inconsistently, by DPD.
    Only after the team of specialists (geotechnical engineers, civil engineers, structural engineers, lawyers, surveyors) the builder hires gets agreement from simular specialists at DPD that the development is reasonable and safe for the site, is one allowed to proceed.
    These are just a few of the highly specialized licensed professionals that are not included when Upset charges that I am 180 degrees different.
    -
    My posts regarding this slide are an attempt to provide some balance and share some facts.
    I continue to wonder at how ill-informed and nasty are the opinions some people feel comfortable expressing.

    “I hesitate to charge, as others do, that the whole problem was caused by tree removal and or by the new home replacing the old one.
    Such charges are from a place of ignorance.
    -
    I wrote before and the same holds true now, I do not know nor have I met the homeowner. I do not work for him, his company or anyone else. I do not in any manner represent him or his family and, to the best of my knowledge, we are not related!

    Comment by Nulu — January 26, 11 11:10 pm”

    Comment by nulu — 12:15 pm January 27, 2011 #

  12. Nulu, it seems you are not a careful reader. Facts are facts, I agree with Larry that trees were destroyed and the filed plan was not followed. I also reviewed this with the city. Whether or not his comments contain “nihilistic implication” makes no difference. They disobeyed the law and possibly endangered those of us who use Beach Drive.

    Comment by harvey s — 12:16 pm January 27, 2011 #

  13. “To Upset and other Beach Drive hill slide neighbors:

    The meeting tonight between representatives of DPD, SDOT, and the immediate neighborhood is already a full house. But we will try and keep you posted about future developments.

    Comment by Jim — January 26, 11 11:19 am #”

    How about an update of last night’s meeting at Mr Winter’s??

    Comment by nulu — 12:42 pm January 27, 2011 #

  14. Harvey S,
    I agree with your, ” Facts are facts.”
    I agree with you and Larry that trees were destroyed.
    But I do not know if the destroyed trees were illegally destroyed or more importantly, if the destroyed trees caused the slide.
    Do you?
    I also agree that the DPD lawsuit charges that the filed plan was not followed on some specifics.
    I am aware that all complex plans especially those required for a permit in the Critical Areas are bound to contain inconsistencies, areas of interpretation and perhaps extrapolation. As in all projects, mistakes get made.
    In this instance do we know for certain everything that caused all of the sliding on this hill?
    I don’t.
    And I just can not understand how others are so unqualified but so absolute in voicing their blame.

    Comment by nulu — 1:04 pm January 27, 2011 #

  15. I am sure these trees were not permitted to come down.

    Comment by sean — 5:13 pm January 27, 2011 #

  16. … and to add to the list of people who do not live on Beach Drive: why should the rest of us pay to keep your hillside homes propped up? It’s expensive, and if you haven’t noticed – there ain’t much money to go around! Tell me why I should pay a single nickle more for just YOU?

    Comment by NotMe — 6:09 pm January 27, 2011 #

  17. I live on Beach Drive and I agree with NotMe — the homeowners who choose to build houses on these hillsides should pay to keep the houses and hillsides maintained. If that means they can’t cut down every tree in sight and build the house as large and massive as they might want to, then they should adjust accordingly.

    Comment by Upset — 10:41 am January 28, 2011 #

  18. “If that means they can’t cut down every tree in sight and build the house as large and massive as they might want to, then they should adjust accordingly.” Upset
    -
    Right On!
    -
    That is exactly the way the code is currently.
    -
    Conversely the homeowners who choose to live at the bottom of a hill with 15 recorded slides on it should also not expect the city to pay every time it rains hard and the slope comes down as it has for centuries.

    Comment by nulu — 3:13 pm January 28, 2011 #

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