COEUR d'ALENE - Neighbors of a 14-story high-rise proposed for downtown Coeur d'Alene are asking the City Council to overturn a subcommission's decision that helps greenlight the project.
The request for an appeal, filed originally by project neighbor Harold Damiano and supported by attorney Scott Reed, says that the Design Review Committee, DRC, erred when it approved the proposed downtown building design without taking into account how the project would negatively affect neighboring property values.
"The building could be designed differently to mitigate, if not entirely eliminate the damage to the private property values," a Dec. 6 letter from Reed to the city states. "The first duty of the Design Review Commission is ... 'to protect property rights and values.'"
The appeal asks that building permits not be issued until the City Council reviews the DRC's decision. The DRC officially approved the design Nov. 29, submitted by a real estate development firm Austin Lawrence Partners, out of Aspen, Colo., to build a retail and condo complex at the corner of First Street and Lakeside Avenue.
After listening to public testimony during three meetings, the DRC stated that the proposed design fit all of Coeur d'Alene's building guidelines and standards. The DRC's role is to review if designs fit those guidelines.
But Reed's letter states that neighboring properties like the Coeur d'Alene North condos would lose in excess of $1 million, and adjacent property rights must also be protected, which is one of the DRC's responsibilities. Reed has said in previous interviews he is willing to litigate the matter should other avenues fail.
Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson said the city is reviewing the request and an appeal could go to the City Council in January.
Code that explains the appeal process for a DRC decision states that the appeal must be based on whether design standards adhere to the city's design guidelines, such as height limit and setback requirements. Other factors outside the building's design "are not grounds for appeal because they are not design review criteria."
Damiano could not be reached for comment Monday.