Jun 30, 2021Cherry grower withdraws $16 million lawsuit against Chelan County, Washington
Washington state Cherry grower Kyle Mathison says he’s withdrawn a lawsuit alleging Chelan County unlawfully interfered with his development of 250 acres of orchard land.
According to a report by the NCW Life Channel, Mathison’s company, Wheeler Ridge LLC, sued the county and its Natural Resources Director Mike Kaputa last year, seeking $16 million dollars in damages.
The organic cherry operation lies within the Stemilt Basin, where the county spent years negotiating to preserve land for forest management, recreation, and elk habitat.
Mathison said the county unnecessarily held up his development permits for environmental review, but he was granted the first of his permits earlier this year, and plans to set aside 360 acres as a conservation area..
Ncwlife.com quoted Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt attorney Aaron Laing saying it was a good faith move by his clients: “There is no settlement agreement with the county and our client. This was a voluntary walk away by Wheeler Ridge to really let the County know and let the community know that they want to proceed in a collaborative, good-faith manner. They don’t want anybody’s thoughts, actions, perceptions or anything being clouded by this idea that there’s a lawsuit hanging out there.”
Washington state Cherry grower Kyle Mathison. Photo: Ncwlife.com