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Trumpeter suit set for 2008 trial

As things stand, a lawsuit filed five years ago by a development company against Pierce County and its former land management committee will go to trial next summer.

During a telephone conference Wednesday, Judge John Damon set the suit for trial July 28 through Aug. 1, 2008. A 12-person jury will hear the case.

Last month, Judge Damon rejected all the county's motions to end the lawsuit in which the development company is asking for over $4 million in damages.

The litigation has continued since February 1999, when the land management committee denied approval of 13 certified survey maps that would have allowed Trumpeter to develop the last 41 of 125 residential lots.

Trumpeter is an 817-acre development on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi and Big rivers.

The land was divided into 125 lots through a series of certified survey maps. The committee approved the earlier maps, allowing those lots to be developed, but balked at approving the last 41 lots, insisting Trumpeter give the county land for parks rather than paying a per-lot park fee as the developer had in the past.

In an opinion dated Jan. 10, 2000, Pierce County Judge Robert Wing agreed the county had no legal authority to condition the approval of the lots on the dedication of parkland.

In April 2004, the District III Court of Appeals upheld a Buffalo County judge's ruling that Pierce County's insurance company provided no coverage for the lawsuit.