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Beattie Street residents seek to block trailhead expansion project

Posted at 8:28 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 22:28:50-04

HELENA — Two residents of Beattie Street in Helena have filed legal action, seeking to block construction on a trailhead expansion project adjacent to their property.

Nicholas Sovner and Cheri Thornton filed a request this week for a temporary restraining order to block the Beattie Street Trailhead project. Contractors began excavation work at the trailhead on Monday.

The project would create 18 paved parking spots and add additional facilities at the trailhead.

In their filing, Sovner and Thornton said they made a land exchange with the city, providing land that the city could use to expand parking at the trailhead. They said they made the deal based on the city agreeing not to develop another piece of land immediately adjacent to their home. They argue the new work is being done on that land, so it goes against the agreement.

Sovner and Thornton said allowing the construction to go forward would cause “irreparable damage to the quiet enjoyment of their Property.” They asked the First Judicial District Court to stop any construction on the land until the dispute can be resolved.

The legal action names the City of Helena and city engineer Ryan Leland as defendants. A spokesperson for the city said they plan to oppose the motion, but that they were not able to comment further on pending litigation.

The Beattie Street project has been in discussion for several years. It has drawn opposition from several nearby residents, who have raised concerns about how it will impact the neighborhood.