BAYVIEW – A dispute over a Bayview sewer connection recently devolved into a diver disconnecting a restaurant’s underwater sewer and water connections, an on-dock confrontation and a visit by police. Ultimately it may have to be resolved in court.
Fran’s Landing opened briefly this summer in Bayview before Waterford Park Homes owners disconnected the floating restaurant from its sewage system, causing a small sewage spill in Lake Pend Oreille.
Waterford Park Homes later disconnected the restaurant’s water, as well.
The Waterford Park Homes marina once belonged to Fran Hoehner, Fran’s Landing’s owner. Hoehner sold it to Bob Holland.
Waterford Park Homes Development Director Dennis Scott said the company did shut off both the sewer and later the water to the restaurant because it wasn’t in compliance with health regulations.
“She went ahead and opened and it resulted in a sewage discharge into the lake,” Scott said.
Police were called in when the exchange over the situation became heated.
“There’s a connection to serve Fran’s. It’s available, but she has to have a legal way to connect to it,” Scott said.
Repeated attempts over the course of several days to contact Hoehner were unsuccessful.
But while Scott said that Fran’s Landing couldn’t connect because of restrictions imposed by the Idaho Department of Lands, an IDL spokesman said that’s not the case.
“We don’t have anything to do with it,” said IDL’s Jim Brady.
Brady said that the department issued a stop-work order on an addition to the restaurant a few years back, but had been in the process of permitting that addition when Hoehner sold the marina to Holland.
At that point only Waterford Park Homes could apply for the permit, and it objected, Brady said.
Waterford Park Homes has a limited number of sewer connections. If Fran’s Landing was to permanently close, Holland’s company could put a new float home in its place.
Meanwhile, Hoehner has filed a claim against Waterford Park Homes in Kootenai County District Court over nonpayment for the property.
Hoehner has a contract calling for monthly payments and Waterford Park Homes has missed two of those, said Hoehner’s attorney Stephen McCrea.
“They stopped making payments, so we sued,” McCrea said.
In an August e-mail to Idaho Department of Lands, Scott seems to allude that the disconnection of the sewer pipe might be related to the lawsuit, which was filed in July.
“Bob has raised the bar with Fran. He had a diver shut off the valve from the pump station on the deck addition and cut the sewer line so that she does not have sewer service.” Scott wrote, adding, “I can only hope that this will bring the two of them to the table and get things settled between them.”
But McCrea said that all Hoehner wants is her monthly payments and the ability to run her restaurant.
“Part of the deal when she sold the marina to Waterford Park Homes was that she could still continue to operate her little restaurant out there,” he said.