CDA: Legal advice lagging

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Keith Erickson’s Aug. 18 article on developer Lanzce Douglass’ two River’s Edge “plans” nicely captures the public’s present dilemma — to get meaningful access and views across this “once in forever” riverfront property, the public is forced to tolerate a collection of massive, Manhattan-like apartment buildings.

The main reason the people of Coeur d’Alene are in this terrible position is the failure of their city attorney to do his job.

The language of the 2013 Annexation Agreement for the property — which the city attorney prepared and presented to the City Council — is so vague and weak it did nothing to establish a public right of access and views, while giving away the city’s leverage of annexation. Any law student can see that at a glance.

And after Douglass and his Ketchum lawyer appeared, the city attorney has repeatedly rolled over to their demands — selling out the people of Coeur d’Alene, whose interests he’s supposed to be representing.

The only reason Douglass’s plans moderated from their original, even more massive version was the resulting public outrage and protest — not anything the city attorney did.

Douglass is represented by a skilled lawyer willing to work and fight for his client — not just plan his next vacation.

It’s too bad the people of Coeur d’Alene can’t say the same thing.

DAVID LYONS

Coeur d’Alene

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