(WSB 2011 photo of the view from behind the “ecology blocks” at the bottom of the sliding Beach Drive slope)
Earlier this year, when repaving was ahead for a section of Beach Drive close to the ravaged section caught in a dispute over slides, the city revealed more mediation was ahead. Now, there’s word it has succeeded. This is just in from the City Attorney’s Office:
A significant hillside repair project along Beach Drive in West Seattle will be built without any City funds, in accord with the successful mediation of Anderson v. City, Saladino et. al.
“I am pleased to report that the City has resolved litigation and enforcement actions related to landslides in West Seattle above Beach Drive,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said Thursday. “Insurance monies and private funds will be used to construct deep retaining walls and a drainage system to stabilize a hillside. No City funds will be used to construct the project. The City has agreed to waive the majority of fines it sought in this action in exchange for the agreement by Peter Saladino to build the walls.”
Saladino and the City were both defendants in this action brought by 29 households that alleged they were affected by the landslides that occurred in 2007 and 2010.
The parties reached agreement late Wednesday night, the second day of mediation.
Saladino personally and the insurance carrier for Saladino agreed to fund and construct the remediation project to stabilize the hillside across a three-property area. The remediation project, which is likely to cost more than $2 million, involves two walls and a drainage system. The project is being reviewed by the Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Transportation and other City departments, with construction likely to begin this year.
The City did not pay attorney’s fees. The City did agree, however, to reduce the fines against Saladino to $10,000 if he is able to obtain that amount or more from a neighboring property owner’s insurance company. If he is unable to get that amount, the City will waive all fines as to Saladino. In addition, the City agreed to resurface a portion of Beach Drive north of the slide area in 2012.
Tom Rasmussen, chairman of the Seattle City Council Transportation Committee, expressed delight with the settlement: “The area near the slide on Beach Drive is in terrible condition and the agreement will allow the hillside to be repaired and Beach Drive to be repaired and repaved.”