Association News

Downtown road dispute pits city against property owner

March 22, 2010
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Is the paved area that juts off Judson Street at the old city hall building Thurston Lane or a private roadway?That’s the topic of debate between the City of Gig Harbor, Wash., and a property owner whose business is located in the building. 

City says Thurston Lane is public; property owner claims it’s private
Nate Hulings of the Gateway
Published: 12:31PM March 18th, 2010 Is the paved area that juts off Judson Street at the old city hall building Thurston Lane or a private roadway? 

That’s the topic of debate between the City of Gig Harbor and a property owner whose business is located in the building. 

During the March 8 city council meeting, wording to affirm Thurston Lane as a public road was pulled from the consent agenda for further discussion. 

Both the city and property owner Doug Clark made their case to the council; a lawyer who represents a property owner near the contested property also addressed the council. 

No action was taken, because council members requested more documents before they can make a final decision. 

The city says the road is public, but Clark, who owns two parcels of land off Judson Street, says he pays property taxes on the entire lot, including the paved area, which he says is private property. 

Clark displays that belief with signs on power poles and paint on the asphalt. He’s even barricaded the access on several occasions. He’ll also point to the pin in the ground placed by land surveyors that represents the corners of his property, including the land the city claims is Thurston Lane.

Documents, and how they are interpreted, play a vital role in each party’s claims. ...

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