A North Idaho judge has rejected a request by a group of homeowners trying to prevent a company from building a 14-story condominium in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
The Coeur d’Alene Press reported that 1st District Judge Benjamin Simpson ruled Tuesday that the Coeur d’Alene North Home Owners View Preservation LLC wasn’t personally injured by the proposed building and therefore didn’t have legal standing to file a lawsuit against the builder.
“Obviously, we’re pleased the judge saw it our way,” said Greg Hills of the real estate development firm Austin Lawrence Partners. “We’re going to keep moving forward, just like we have been.”
Attorney Jim Crowe represents the homeowners. He said a lawsuit could be filed against the builder under an individual condo owner’s name and that would meet the personal injury requirement. He said a decision about that hasn’t yet been made.
Simpson did leave open another avenue for the group to contest the building by filing a lawsuit against the city once building permits are issued.
But attorney Mike Haman, representing the city, said a lawsuit filed using that angle wouldn’t have merit under the takings clause.
“He made it clear he didn’t see a takings claim, in my opinion,” Haman said of the judge’s ruling. “I don’t think Judge Simpson sees a claim here.”
The city approved construction of the $20 million project that would join two newer condominium towers and the Coeur d’Alene Resort as the tallest buildings downtown.
After the city gave approval for the project, the homeowners group followed through with a promise to file the lawsuit.