Editorial: The sound of no hands clappingAs Garrison Keillor might say, things were quiet around Lighthouse Point this week. But that’s only because no one is talking about what might be next for it and the rest of Agate Bay since the long battle with developer Sam Cave appears to be over.
As Garrison Keillor might say, things were quiet around Lighthouse Point this week.
But that’s only because no one is talking about what might be next for it and the rest of Agate Bay since the long battle with developer Sam Cave appears to be over.
Neither Cave or his attorney returned calls this week. The city litigation committee on Monday discussed the state Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Cave’s appeal, seemingly his last straw in a seven-year battle with the city over property on the points and along the bay.
But because the final T’s aren’t crossed or I’s dotted, city attorney Steve Overom says any discussion about Cave and his appeal remains closed to the public.
But doesn’t the appeal denial mean the agreement carved out so long ago is now in force? No, according to Overom. He says the five suits Cave filed against the city, dealing mostly with its refusal to rezone his property and over the leases he acquired by purchasing the land on the bay, are pending until he sees a signature officially dismissing them as demanded in the agreement now deemed valid.
So don’t expect any talk about what might be next for the harbor.
Overum said the backbone of the city’s position remains in place. “Those goals haven’t changed,” he said, referring to preserving and protecting Lighthouse Point and offering fair incentive for development.
It might be said that one of Cave’s tacks could have been to outlast a four-year sunset on the agreement that was reached, officially, in 2007. The agreement, which outlines tax breaks for Cave in return for leased land and the point, will be void if no development plan and thus requests for breaks come in four years.
So what happens if nothing is done? The city thinks Cave will get something on the books. If he doesn’t, both are back at square one but he would have little to no leverage.
The city also continues to work on its comprehensive land use plan. That committee has also been stalled from doing any work on the bay area as the Cave appeals raged.
For now, it’s a quiet situation. Yes, we know the attorneys and city council members and anyone close to the case may feel tired to death of it. It would be nice, though, after so much public ink and air was expelled over Cave, if residents of Two Harbors could hear about any kind of clear path to the future of Agate Bay.
Oh, and while we’re at it, any idea how much this all cost the taxpayers? Just wondering.