Parks Department Downplays Volunteer Park Land Use Fight

Comments

1
My guess is that most of the time, people haven't already built an extension to their house on public land, so they just give up some of their (mistaken) yard space.

In this case, it appears that either the City gives the Althouses the park land upon which they've already built upon, or the Althouses tear down their extension and give the land back to the City, or the Althouses buy the land from the City.

I'm also guessing that Althouses consider *anything* other than option 1 to be an "irrational conclusion" to the situation.
2
Sorry folks, sue your developer/surveyor/whoever, but you don't get to keep park land. Period.

3
Now how do we get the Nickelsville bums off public land next time they try to steal some?
4
If they built their addition with permits then the city could very well be on the hook for this because the city signed off on it as being in compliance with the zoning regulations.

If they didn't get a permit for the addition then they are shit out of luck.
5
@3,

When they start building permanent structures we can talk.

Douche.
6
"When they start building permanent structures we can talk. "

Oh, so if these folks just put temporary structures, like a fence on public land, you'd be ok with it?

7
They could recieve a variance to allow the addition to stay.

They didn't built on public land, they just don't have the appropriate setbacks. And if they get ruled against, they would just lose their backyard. That's not terribly tragic.
8
It would be ironic if Althouse was a demi-anglicized shortened version of Ungesetzmassigalthaus.
9
so our parks are for sale to douchnozzle doctors who feel like their entitled?

funny, i think nickelsville needs to move there.
10
I cannot fathom how an otherwise-intelligent family, knowing their house abuts a City park, could build such an extension without first surveying their property lines!

How could they know their back yard is large enough under code without knowing where their rear property line is.

"But the City granted us a building permit" doesn't wash, when the permit application is based on a lie.
11
yeah, @10, but the permit means their house stays, especially since it (barely) is on their property. Cienna's research into DPD was her own fun-dance, the city hasn't (and won't) asked them to tear down their house. Considering the setback would be against a huge park, I can't imagine why the city would give a shit about how many feet their house is from the edge of the property.
12
My three options (not that anyone cares) in order of how douchy the Althouses act during the process:

Offer to sell them 20 feet of park land at 1995 valuation and assess them for 15 years of back taxes.

Allow them an easement for the setback on the back yard, and take the park land, putting up an eight foot fence topped with razor wire on the property line.

Eminent domain their entire fucking lot, and force the family out.
13
Cienna, honey, you misinterpret just about everything. Here's your problem, sweetie: you post stuff on Slog with no research, no facts, no background. Just your ill-informed opinion. As a "reporter", honey, you'd be much better served actually doing some research before posting your stick-it-to-the-man trifle that you so often barf up into the blogosphere.
14

How about all the back rent they owe for the years they used that land illegally. It must be more than just $1.3 million dollars. Seattle should extract every cent.
15
Hey, maybe we could use that $1.3 million in back rent to pay for ... bike paths.
16
It's only 0.2 feet over the property line. Make 'em cough up the cash to buy that strip of land or the lose the edition.
17
The problem with grandfathering in a pre-existing non-conforming set back is when do you draw the line. The permitting system is based not on sending out surveyors every time somebody builds something no matter how small but on having experts to check prior surveys and submit accurate drawings to the city. This system breaks down when people get to just say oopsie and wind up with favorable variance with no adequate review process.
18
I think it's fair for them to keep their fence if they think it's fair for everyone to play in their backyard. Didn't I hear something about a hot tub and zip line?
19
Not much sympathy for the family. Adverse possession is the property acquisition method of assholes and thieves.
20
Adverse possession in WA:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_la…

With legal citations.

1. Exclusive. Only you, or people authorized by you, can have possession of the land in question for the required period of possession (which is 10 years). Courts have ruled that the possession does not have to be absolutely exclusive, so you will want to discuss your particular situation with an attorney (see below).

2. Actual and uninterrupted. That means that you actually have possession and control over the land in question, and that possession is not interrupted by an adversary.

3. Open and notorious. An adversary must be aware that his land is being taken. But you don't have to write the landowner, or anything like that. Your possession must be in a manner that is overt, not covert.

4. Hostile. That means that you treat the land in question as your own, and defend it against the world. Adverse possession is not created when you have the permission of the landowner to use his land (so a long-term tenant cannot claim adverse possession).

(Chaplin v. Sanders , 100 Wn.2d 853 , 857, 676 P.2d 431 (1984))

You must meet all four of these elements to qualify for adverse possession. You have the burden of proving you met each element. You must have met these elements for a minimum of 10 years.

Lets see if this family can meet all four qualifications and prove it in writing with evidence. If not, and I'm not a lawyer, but I'm guessing they'll need to either pony up a lot of money to the city or prepare for some construction work to be done on 'their' land.
22
@21: It looks like, according to section 90, that adverse possession doesn't apply to public lands. So it may not matter how long the families have been using that property as their own.