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City of Everett, landowner still at odds over landslide-damaged road, access

Avalanches and Landslides

A dispute in Everett over how to fix a road damaged by a landslide has taken a frustrating turn.

The city says it might have to use its powers of eminent domain to deal with the situation – a move that neighbors say is nothing more than a power grab.

The city is negotiating with one landowner, Hugh Henrickson, to settle the case. And the city`s public works department says an agreement is close. But Henrickson doesn't think so.

Henrickson says he believes the city doesn`t want to make a deal at all, and just take his land.

Larimer Road in southeast Everett has been down to one lane in the 6400 block for about a year, right after a landslide right below Roberta Brand’s home.

“Hopefully, they’ll get it fixed, but I don’t know how,” Brand said.

That uncertainty stems from a disagreement between the city and Henrickson, whose property crews would have to access to fix the road.

Henrickson wants the city to put in a new drain pipe that would extend beyond the area crews would repair, to protect his 50 acres of farmland from any further harm.

“That’s one of a number of concerns from the property owner,” said Mike Palacios, the city’s real property manager.

Palacios has been dealing with the Henrickson property negotiations for the past six months.

To get the project done, Palacios said, the Everett City Council may decide next Wednesday to use eminent domain and simply seize his property, paying Henrickson fair market value.

“Really, the only reason we`re going this route, if necessary, is so that at some point in time the slide can get repaired,” Palacios said.

The neighborhood wants this problem solved, too. Some say the ground beneath their homes has been unstable ever since the city put a drain under Larimer Road 12 years ago.

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