Property Covenants Stand Up in Court

After a year of discussions within the neighborhood, including a neighborhood meeting, Tom and Nancy Kenney filed a lawsuit in September 2005 seeking to prevent Bill Webb and the City of Bellingham from proceeding with a request to subdivide two lots into four. It was felt that Mr. Webb’s request violated the following covenant of the Plat of Clarkwood:

“Further subdivision of lots is prohibited except (1) where lots of equivalent or larger size are created: or (2) if area is exchanged between adjoining lots without the creation of an additional lot.” (Plat of Clarkwood Restrictive Covenants, Section N., recorded under Auditors File No. 14424333.)

On August 25, 2006 Judge Charles R. Snyder ruled in favor of Tom and Nancy Kenney, during a court hearing, and granted their Motion for Summary Judgement. Judge Snyder ruled that:

a. The CC&Rs of the Clarkwood Plat prohibit a property owner from subdividing existing lots, except if after the subdivision, the lots are equal or larger in size than the lots that wereproposed to be subdivided.
b. The re-subdivision of existing lots in the Plat of Clarkwood to increase the total number of lots in the plat is prohibited.
c. The Webb application (SUB 2005-00036) filed with the City of Bellingham to divide two existing lots into four lots violates the covenants of Clarkwood.
d. The City of Bellingham is permanently enjoined from processing and approving the Webb’s application.

There will be no appeal by the Webb’s of Judge Snyder’s ruling.

For more information on this matter, interested persons can review the court documents by contacting the County Clerk’s office of Whatcom County and referencing Case No. 05-2-02096-9

This judgement by Whatcom County Superior Court brings the litigation to final conclusion, and re-affirms the covenants that have been part of our community since 1983.

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