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Parking group to fight plaza construction

Parking group to fight plaza construction

YAKIMA, Wash.—“No, I'm not surprised at all,” said Bruce Smith.

Smith of the Yakima Valley Business Times says he was expecting last night's outcome.

He says he and Preserve Downtown Parking, a group he spearheads that's against the project, are sticking to their original plan - to fight the building of the plaza. He says they'll likely end up in court.

“There's gonna be one of two options: Either we go to court and a judge tells them they can't build the plaza, or they come to that conclusion themselves, beforehand. Those are the only two options that there are,” said Smith.

Joe Mann owns Ron's Coin and Collectibles. He says he wants to make the plaza happen because he thinks it'll be good for Yakima. He and his wife donated to the plaza fund.

He was at last night's council meeting and says he's happy with their decision.

Mann thinks the plaza committee will be able to overcome any obstacles in their way.

“I thought it was great. There still is a couple of stumbling blocks. There's still that ordinance for the parking lot from 1974 that has to be reviewed by a judge, but now with the adjacent parking that has been put into place, I think they will pass and be able to build the plaza on there,” said Mann.

Still, Smith says he doesn't think the plaza is gonna happen anytime soon, and that his group plans to act fast.

He says their attorney sent a letter to the city, asking them to put a stop to the plaza, but have yet to hear back.

City Attorney Jeff Cutter says he did in fact see the letter, but didn't think a response was expected. He says he’s not comfortable with speaking on camera, just yet. Smith feels otherwise.

“That's just a sign of weakness. If they had a strong case, we'd have got a letter by now, and they know that. And so, they don't have any choice really but to just shut up and hope we go away, but that's not gonna happen,” said Smith.

Despite this, city council's vote does allow the plaza to live on.

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