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Building Owner Responds To City Order With Suit

Fri., Oct. 18, 1996

A developer who claims officials are trying to force him to rehabilitate his run-down building is suing the city of Spokane.

The city ordered Ram Gopal last month to either submit plans for repairing the building at 2616-2622 W. Sunset Boulevard or tear it down.

The city can’t do that, said Gopal’s attorney, Steve Eugster.

“It’s a lawsuit that deals with whether the city has the authority to force a person to develop his property,” said Eugster, who filed the lawsuit in Superior Court earlier this week.

“Yet again, here’s a situation where the city is arrogantly using government resources to damage the citizenry,” Eugster said. “This government is out of control.”

Gopal has made several improvements to the building since he bought it in 1994, court documents show.

But an August letter to Gopal from the Housing Advisory and Appeals Board said the building has been a continual problem for several years.

“This building is an old dilapidated apartment building that has had complaints and problems for many years,” the letter stated. “It was the intent of the city to give this developer every opportunity to complete the project for low-income housing.

“To date this has not occurred.”

City building official Bob Eugene was out of town Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

, DataTimes

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