Judge offers two choices, $78,000 fine or removal of pool and an $18,000 fine

One West Linn family may be soaking up the last warm days of the year in their backyard pool for the last time.

A municipal judge ruled Sept. 24 that Troy and Gina Bundy must pay $72,000 in fines or remove their pool and restore their property within 90 days for the fine to be reduced to $18,000.

If the Bundys do not agree to removal the pool and restore the property, the city still has a couple of options it could pursue, such as nuisance abatement.

The Bundys first appeared in municipal court Sept. 4 and 5. The couple has been battling over the pool with the city of West Linn for several years. The pool — along with a patio, tiki torches, footbridges and a brick wall — was installed without a permit in a sensitive water resources area.

The city wants the pool removed and the backyard restored.

In a Sept. 10 decision, West Linn Municipal Court Judge Heather Karabeika found the Bundys in violation of the city’s community development code, leaving the Bundys facing a fine of up to $360,000.

In court Sept. 20, the city attorney Rhett Bernstein recommended two options. The first option was a reduction of the fine to $180,000. The second option was if the Bundys agreed to remove the pool and restore their property within 90 days, to further reduce the fine to $90,000.

Although the Bundys have been in violation of city code since the pool was installed in 2009, the statute of limitations restricts the fines to six months prior to the issuance of the citations. The citations were issued May 25.

Troy Bundy, an attorney represented his wife and himself, filed a motion to dismiss the case, alleging fraud on the court.

Bundy contested that a document admitted in court as an exhibit was a permit application marked approved and dated Oct. 20, 2009. He said they have never been in violation because they had a permit the whole time.

Bernstein argued, however, that the document approved just the schematics of the pool, not the location of the pool.

Since the document was not new evidence, the judge determined it was not cause enough for a retrial. “I’m somewhat stymied by my options,” Karabeika said.

“This is such an irregular situation,” Bernstein said. “He’s had that document in all its glory since Aug. 6, 2012.”

Since May, the city has fined the couple $1,000 each per day, citing an ongoing code violation, which is retroactive to the time the pool was built in 2009, adding up to $2 million. However, due to statue of limitations, only six months worth of violations count.

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