Judge vows to issue ruling in building access dispute
The judge who presided over the bench trial in the fall involving the city, the owners of a downtown Aspen penthouse and a building owner said Wednesday she plans to deliver a written order by the end of the month.
In a status conference held in the chambers of Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols, the judge said she recognizes all of the parties are anxious for a ruling.
The case went to trial in October.
The city of Aspen is suing Michael Sedoy and Natalia Shvachko, who own a free-market condominium at 308 E. Hopkins Ave. The city also is suing JW Ventures LLC, which developed the entire three-floor building in 2007.
The issue: The city contends that the defendants have denied the building’s affordable-housing tenants access to the front entrance, east stairway and main elevator.
The city also said that the defendants are ignoring a previous court order to allow handicap access.
“The handicap access, as the city understands it, is not being honored,” Nichols said.
The lawsuit states that in 2009, JW Ventures was issued a building permit from the city for its construction plan. As part of that permit, the developer was required to meet accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements of the International Building Code.
When Sedoy and Shvachko obtained the title to their property in 2011 from JW Ventures, however, the deed excluded “various encumbrances and restrictions, including the terms, conditions, provisions, agreements and obligations” specified by the city ordinance and subdivision agreement that allowed the developer to pursue its plans, the suit says.
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