Settlement would open Incline beaches to Crystal Bay |

Settlement would open Incline beaches to Crystal Bay

Kevin MacMillan

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — As if to beckon the start of the 2013 summer season at Lake Tahoe, beach access is once again at the forefront for Incline Village.

Crystal Bay resident Steven Kroll, who’s in the middle of litigation against the Incline Village General Improvement District regarding First Amendment rights by way of entry to its beaches, has set a deadline of next Friday for the district to agree on a settlement that would expand access to the roughly 427 parcels that lie outside the community’s beach-access boundaries.

According to legal documents obtained recently by the Bonanza, Kroll’s legal team offered the settlement on May 10 after a conference in March with IVGID counsel before David C. Wasick, a settlement judge with the Nevada Supreme Court.

According to a document from Kroll’s appellate attorney, Beau Sterling of Las Vegas-based Sterling Law LLC, the settlement would avoid an appeal of earlier federal and state rulings to the high court, and avoid the potential risk of “opening the beaches to all the world.”

“(The settlement) would unite the Incline Village/Crystal Bay community in both word and deed, and preserve the beach properties for use exclusively by IVGID homeowners, continuing the exclusion of the general public and preventing a feared collapse in their property values as a result,” Sterling wrote.

According to documents, the March settlement conference was continued to May 30, during which Reno attorney Stephen C. Balkenbush, who represents the district, announced that at a confidential litigation meeting held the day before, IVGID trustees rejected Kroll’s settlement.

Kroll’s legal team initially extended a deadline to settle until June 6, and has since set that back to Friday, June 14.

Kroll originally filed his complaint in April 2008, arguing IVGID’s recreation policies as outlined in Ordinance No. 7 are illegal, and further alleged the 1968 deed restriction included in IVGID’s purchase of four beachfront properties — Incline, Ski, Burnt Cedar and Hermit beaches — violated his constitutional rights.

The late judge Edward C. Reed ruled in IVGID’s favor in 2010 on the federal complaint, while Washoe County District Court Judge Steven Kosach ruled for IVGID in September 2012.

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