Marvin Erickson doesn’t think Kootenai County had the authority to throw out his request to build luxury homes on Canfield Mountain.
Erickson is suing the county, arguing that Planning Director Rand Wichman had no grounds to boot his nine-home proposal. In addition, Erickson also filed an appeal with the county planning department. A county hearing examiner will have a public hearing Thursday on the appeal.
Wichman withdrew Erickson’s application for Erickson Estates in April because the planning department hadn’t gotten any new information for 19 months. Wichman said Erickson also revised the plan in a way that would put homes in areas not included in the original draft, meaning that Erickson needs to submit a new application.
“I stand behind what I did,” Wichman said Monday. “The greater interest is not having applications sit around forever. Most people have a desire to complete their project so they can have lots to sell. I’m not sure why there was no progress.”
County Attorney John Cafferty filed a motion to have Erickson’s lawsuit dismissed because the administrative appeal process isn’t complete.
Erickson’s attorney, Scott Poorman, didn’t return phone calls Monday but said in a previous interview that the county dismissed the subdivision request because it wants to force Erickson to build under the county’s new subdivision rules that were adopted in December.
Poorman said those rules would make it more expensive for Erickson to develop the land surrounding his Canfield Mountain home. The stricter rules also may make it more difficult for Erickson to get county approval, Poorman said.
Erickson gained notoriety in 1999 when he built his house and a Z-shaped road up the face of Canfield. The proposed Erickson Estates development would use the same road.
Poorman said Erickson had responded to the county’s request for more information and in March turned in a revised version of Erickson Estates that scaled back the lots from 44 to nine.
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