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SK Northwest files for (yet another) appeal

Posted by on December 3rd, 2007 at 2:43 pm

[Updated: 11/3, 10:05pm]

As reported by Emily Gardner of the BTA on Friday, SK Northwest has filed an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals.

It seems SK Northwest, who wants to develop a riverfront parcel for their personal watercraft business, can’t accept a recent Land Use Board of Appeals opinion that the city’s demand for a trail across the property is justified (and constitutional).

Gardner is encouraging BTA members to take action and write City Council members to,

“thank the City for upholding the code which requires a trail on properties along the waterfront. Furthermore, urge them to uphold the decision of the hearings officer, specifically to find that the city codes are constitutionally correct, and to seek a solution that maintains the opportunity for a continuous trail along the waterfront.”

In addition to this appeal — which by my count is SK’s sixth so far — both sides are also discussing the technical issues around whether or not the proposed buildings encroach on the “Greenway setback” (the City says it does, SK Northwest says it doesn’t).

(Also on the SK Northwest side is the owner of the parcel in question, Wayne Kingsley (he also owns Portland Spirit). Shawn Karambelas (“SK”) has claimed that Kingsley is forcing him to fight against the trail as a condition of the sale.)

This case is coming up on its third anniversary, prompting one reader (whose been following it very closely) to write:

“It must be about property rights ideologies and ego now. The legal fees they are incurring as a result of these appeals must far exceed the cost of just building the trail. It’s sad that it came to this.”

A decision on this latest appeal should come in the next six months. Stay tuned for more developments and read past coverage here.

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  • DJ Hurricane December 3, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    It is indeed sad that it came to this, but it\’s no accident – it\’s a direct result of SK Northwest\’s abuse of the public process and its unwillingness to put even the most basic aspect of public good ahead of private profit.

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  • shhambo December 3, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    who the heck is going to shop there know what a bunch of jerk offs they are anyhow.
    They are digging their own graves.

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  • Dan (teknotus) December 3, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Can we setup a picket line by the Portland Spirit entrance ramp in waterfront park, and guilt customers away until they give up the fight?

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  • bigB December 3, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    I don\’t think SK Northwest has anything todo with the Portland Spirit. SK Northwest sells Jetski\’s and the like.

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  • Craig December 3, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    The owner of Portland spirit will not sell the land to SK NW unless SK fights the Public path. The owner of Portland Spirit from the very beginning has done this for personal ego and to push a point. It ironic considering he uses the public domain to make a living with his ship business. Seriously if he doesn\’t grasp the public subsidy he\’s receiving to run his boat business then its time to cut him off.

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  • SkidMark December 4, 2007 at 12:34 am

    How much have they spent fighting this? Enough to build a Multi-Use Path?

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  • DJ Hurricane December 4, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Probably somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000 in legal fees for each round of appeal.

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  • Travis December 4, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Being from Florida and having grown-up on a lake and spending half my summers in the Keys I am not a fan of personal water crafts. They are noisy, chop-up what is good water, don\’t follow marine right-a-way laws, and it seems for most getting on one drops his or her intelligent several notches. Anything to keep a PWC company from the water front is good for the good of Portland -bike lane or not. I\’ll take a thousand Nautiques to one PWC any day. This opinion has nothing to do with a bike path… but of course I don\’t want to be riding through such a lot.

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  • DJ Hurricane December 4, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Why do people need internal combustion engines to enjoy themselves in the outdoors? It\’s fun for them, I guess, but ruins the serenity for everybody else. It\’s like they think they own the place. They don\’t.

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  • Lenny Anderson December 4, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Clearly the Portland Spirit owner lacks just that..the real Portland Spirit; he\’s probably angling for a big public buyout. Is this parcel on Metro\’s Greenspaces list? Its a key Willamette Greenway segment.

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  • benschon December 4, 2007 at 11:08 am

    It\’s disingenous to think that SK NW is being dragged into this as a condition of sale. The devil made him do it, huh? Karambelas and Kingsley, each with their own law firms, filed independent appeals both at LUBA and at the Court of Appeals.

    The rumored condition–a promise to endlessly appeal any City land use decision–would be probably be legally unenforceable anyway. If SK really wants to get out of this mess, he can just drop out of the transaction and let Kingsley go it alone. People are responsible for their own actions.

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  • john December 4, 2007 at 11:19 am

    From what i have heard too from people who have tried them, personal watercraft are fun for about 5 minutes, then they are just stupid. And come-on, two cycle engines, talk about pollution. Now rowboats or canoes or something I might actually rent. I could really care less about the bike path, but pollution, both noise and air, into the public domain, that sucks.

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  • Anonymous December 4, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    I hear traffic infraction tickets offset the cost for the city\’s laywers…

    perhaps Karambelas and Kingsley need a fair mouthpiece?

    jonathan, you have proven yourself to be among the most ethical journalists I have ever known. Maybe they would talk to you?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 4, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    \”Maybe they would talk to you?\”

    They already have. I have spoken to both of them. Here\’s my post after speaking with Kingsley in April 2006 and here\’s my report following a phone call I got from Karambelas in May of 2006.

    I have to warn you though…that was a long time ago and my reporting wasn\’t quite as careful as it is now…

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  • Spencer December 4, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Yeah there has to be a bigger issue here. In prior post, the owner of the property valued the area of the easement at $100K, but given all the leagal work, they have to be north of that figure already.

    There has to be a bigger money issue here. In short, that is the one of the last relatively open parcel of land on the river front near down town. Picture what is happening in the new waterfront areas, and extrapolate. How do decisions now, impact the future viability and profitabiilty?

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  • Dabby December 4, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Wasn\’t the original idea to actually make like a little waterway so people could test ride boats and jet skis. That is if I remember correctly.

    I wonder if it is still part of the plan?

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  • benschon December 5, 2007 at 10:39 am

    The dock for watercraft testing–only to be used by SK NW employees–was part of their plan. None of it matters until they agree to build the trail, or actually win one of their appeals.

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  • Martha S. December 5, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    I know I won\’t be shopping there. I have friends who would probably considder it, not know about this whole mess; but i would advise them against it. These guys are just jerks.

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  • team wreck December 5, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Hey #16! Where is the money labowski?

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