As of Friday, October 17, 2014
MAZAMA A small vacation cabin perched atop a ridgeline on Flagg Mountain must be moved.
In a decision issued Wednesday, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Chris Culp said the 850-square-foot cabin violates covenants on the property.
“It does not attempt to blend with its surroundings; it is in stark and vivid contrast to anything around it,” the decision said. “The hut could not have been built in a manner more insensitive to the visual minimizing goals of the covenants. It is not necessary to the court’s ruling, but the evidence suggests defendants used the hut and its location to make an architectural statement.”
Residents Steven and Kristin Devin, former owners of the 10.5-acre parcel on which the hut is built, sued current owners James Dow, Tom and Jeannie Kundig, and Ben Rand, claiming the cabin violates binding covenants, written in 1987, that prohibit views from the valley floor from being compromised.
“Because the hut violates the covenants, the court rules in favor of plaintiffs,” Culp wrote. “Given plaintiff’s prayer for relief, removal of the hut from its current location is the only remedy and the court rules accordingly.”
The lawsuit was filed in 2013 and went to trial in August. The cabin, which is cantilevered off a cliff and supported on pylons, can be seen from the valley floor.
The Devins, who still own property with a view of the cabin, filed the suit with former owners Lee and Theresa Miller, and John and Rayma Hayes. The Millers and Hayses were later dismissed from the suit.