Nevada County supervisors approve $150K in legal fees for land-use case |

Nevada County supervisors approve $150K in legal fees for land-use case

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted four to one in favor of authorizing another $150,000 for its attorneys in the case of Erickson v. County of Nevada.

The suit, which already has cost the county $261,000, was filed by Penn Valley residents who want to build an office/garage. The county claims the construction would impact a “visually important ridgeline.”

Tuesday’s vote authorizes a total of $425,000 that can be paid to the county’s attorneys, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley. The firm already had $275,000 authorized before Tuesday’s vote.

Supervisor Richard Anderson opposed the measure.

Several attendees spoke publicly against increasing the attorney’s fees before the board’s vote.

“Is there any limit to the taxpayer money that you’re going to spend on the case?” David Smith questioned. “When I gamble, I use my own money, not others’.”

Ed Thomas said he believed the county had mistreated the plaintiffs — Juliet Erickson and Peter Lockyer.

“It is time to bring this vendetta to an end and pay the piper,” Thomas added.

Supervisor Nate Beason lamented what he called the amount of misinformation circulating about the lawsuit. He noted that the county was sued and is defending itself.

Supervisor Hank Weston said the issue is rooted in the county’s code book, which include building codes. He theorized that if the county failed to defend its codes, it should discard all its ordinances.

“We have to defend it because it fits into so many other areas,” he added.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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