Friday, October 24, 2003
Regardless of whether City Council candidate Marcus Williams is celebrating the day after the Nov. 4 election, he is being asked to show up for a municipal court hearing.
Williams pleaded guilty in February to violating a section of the Community Development Code, and now Assistant City Attorney Colette Byrne-Erickson says he did not take corrective actions agreed upon at that municipal court hearing.
On Wednesday, Municipal Court Judge Paul Sachs scheduled a hearing for Nov. 5 at the request of Byrne-Erickson, who is asking that a deferred judgment be revoked and a sentence imposed.
Williams readily admits that one of the reasons he is running for the District II City Council seat is because of his past problems with the city and its planning department. He said he believed his issue with misplaced boulders around a home he built recently in the Hillside Subdivision was resolved in February. He said he has done what was required.
"They are dragging me back into court for something that, in all (intents) and purposes, was resolved a long time ago," said Williams, who believes the resurgence of the case is a political tactic and a result of his recent criticism of City Hall.
The main complaint was that Williams had placed boulders over the city's existing sewer easement, and a large boulder was next to a sewer manhole, which the city said presented a potential safety problem for future repairs to the line.
Williams said the city has admitted that the sewer line runs very close and in some cases on his property.
On Sept. 19, 2002, Williams was charged with violating part of Section 26-3 of the community code. The city said Williams used land or erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, moved or used a structure in a manner inconsistent with the code.
He also was accused of violating the code by failing to obtain the required approval or permit and proceeded with developing without the proper approval or permit. And finally, it was said that he reduced or diminished the lot area setbacks or open space required in the code.
On Feb. 26, Williams pleaded guilty to the violations with the agreement that he would have deferred judgment for two years if he completed the agreed corrective actions by May 20.
In her request for a hearing, Byrne-Erickson said Williams had failed to complete two of the corrective actions: removing the landscape fill east of the driveway from the easement and setback area, and reconstructing the driveway fill with a compacted soil that was allowed to come into the utility easement to construct a slop surface.
The city does not dispute that he completed an additional corrective action, which was removing boulders from the easement and setback areas in the driveway and making sure there was a safe distance between the large boulder and the manhole.
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