Stanzel Wins in Court……Again

Today at the City-County Building in Tacoma, Judge Larkin ruled in favor of Mike Stanzel in his seemingly everlasting court battle with the City of Puyallup for a water availability letter.

Mr. Stanzel and his wife own Mike ‘N’ Terry’s Outdoor Fun Park in unincorporated Pierce County, north of the city of Puyallup.  They want to add a gameroom to their property for people to rent to have birthday parties or sports team parties.  The game room would include restrooms and a kitchen that require water hookups.  Mr. Stanzel also wants to build separate restroom facilities on the property to make it more convenient for his guests.

If his property is in the county, what does the city have to do with it?  Well, Mr. Stanzel’s property is located within the City’s water service area, meaning anyone wishing to have water must contract it with the city. The city does not want to give Mr. Stanzel water for his game room because he refuses to sign an annexation petition from the city, something the city requires in its’ code.

Judge Larkin had two issues to rule on: 1. Mr. Stanzel refuses to sign the annexation petition so the city says he cannot get water.  Judge Larkin ruled that the city cannot require a property owner to sign an annexation agreement in order to get water.

2. The city will now allow Mr. Stanzel to “T” the water line for the new gaming room off of the existing church building on the site, part of the cities code.  Mr. Stanzel has agreed to add a new line, a new meter, whatever the city requires that is reasonable for getting his letter, so that issue was handled with the judge.

Judge Larkin is setting a date in 2011 to settle attorney’s fees and force the city to give Mr. Stanzel his water availability letter, if they haven’t done so already.

Once he has the letter, he can apply to the county for a building permit to start construction on his new game room.


Filed under Finances, Tax Payers Money Wasted

6 responses to “Stanzel Wins in Court……Again

  1. Mike Stanzel

    A couple of things to also note is that the city refused water service at all from 2004 to mid 2008 because my project didn’t comply with the city’s comprehensive plan. That is blatantly illegal and Tom Utterback should know it. If he doesn’t he should be fired for incompetence if he does he should be fired for being corrupt.
    The other thing to note is that once the city changed the comprehensive plan to “allow” my use, they were requiring me to give them power of attorney to sign petitions for me at some unknown time in the future with unknown consequences to me.
    I don’t believe it is legal to sign a petition for someone else. I have sent a letter to the assessor’s office to have them explain why they allowed it to be done in the West Hills annexation.

  2. John Hopkins

    This is a very interesting case.
    There is very little to argue about ,so why are they arguing.This is NOT a landuse issue.The City HAS to provide water.Everyone agrees .The type of connection is irrelevant ,everyone agrees to follow the codes .The availability is there ,no one disagrees on that.So what is the problem?Answer …..annexation agreement! WHO CARES . Give him his water and quit wasting public money on paying our lawerers ,and ultimately his lawyers.This is the publics’ money that attorneys are gobbling up. WHY?

  3. John Hopkins

    Sorry about my spelling in the last one!….got in a hurry
    The City used to use utilities to force developers into compliance with their Comprehensive plan. A decision in Renton in 2007 [i think ] changed that .It was declared illegal to force people in other jurisdictions to comply.That still left the annexation extortion component in place.Now that one is in jeopardy because of this case .Well done Mike and please watch the U tube that is coming to your e mail address soon…enjoy

  4. Steve Hastings

    Congrats Mike, we know it should have never come to this. You are proof that persistence pays off. It was poor judgment on the part of the City, and getting in the way of the small business man is more of the foolish behavior that needs to be weeded out of the city.

    I suspect all those folks that are used to seeing you on TV at council meetings are going to wonder … “What ever happen to that guy trying to get water”

  5. Jim Malone

    Another example of how to waste taxpayer money playing the lawyer intimidation game.

    BTW I like the signs up alongside the freeway for everyone to read. Impressive.

  6. Steven Shores

    Hey Mike, do you know if the City of Puyallup will be issuing bonds to pay your attorney and damage fees? They could do that and raise Parks and Rec fees for the next 20 years so citizens could pay for the bonds since it’s a “golf, go-cart and baseball related” law suit don’t you think. Have a great holiday. Steve

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