By Melinda Munson
As of Sept. 7, a preliminary injunction prohibits the use of the Dyea Cabin “until further order of the court or until such time as the Dyea Cabin is properly permitted, whichever may occur first.”
The injunction is the result of a lawsuit brought against the Municipality of Skagway by Fred and Kathy Hosford in June. Owners of the Chilkoot Trail Outpost, a full-service cabin rental facility with wi-fi and a restaurant, the Hosfords started protesting in February that the nearby Dyea Cabin, erected on the municipal campground, would interfere with their business.
The dry cabin, built last fall with CARES funds, was intended for a Dyea Campground host. On June 3, the assembly ruled that a host would occupy the cabin from April 15 to Oct. 15, with Skagway residents having access to free overnight usage during the off season.
The injunctions reads: “The Hosfords assert that (1) Skagway constructed its Dyea Cabin illegally by failing to obtain a conditional use permit or building permit as required under Title 15 and 19 of the SMC (Skagway Municipal Code) and that (2) Skagway illegally rented the cabin out without first obtaining a conditional use permit, in direct violation of the DFMP (Dyea Flats management Plan).”
According to the injunction, “Skagway does nothing to argue that it complied with the provisions of Title 15 and 19 of the SMC. Instead, it claims that those provisions simply do not apply. According to Skagway, only Title 16 of the SMC … applies to the area in which the Dyea Cabin sits.”
Alaska Superior Court Judge Daniel Schally issued the preliminary injunction (case number 1JU-21-664CI). The document states that the injunction was based on permitting and not on due process or economic competition.
Mayor Andrew Cremata read a prepared statement from the borough attorney at the Sept. 16 assembly meeting.
“It is not unusual for a court to grant a preliminary injunction. This is not a final decision and does not mean that there will be a permanent injunction at the end of the case,” Cremata said.
The municipality plans to file a motion for reconsideration by Sept. 20, “because the municipality believes it did follow the proper permitting process under Title 16,” Cremata continued.
“Every citizen expects the government to follow the law,” said Stacey Stone, attorney for the Hosfords. “The court has simply confirmed that the government cannot ignore its own laws.”
As this year’s campground host opted to bring her own RV, the cabin was not being used for housing. It now sits empty.