A neighborhood feud that has been waged at La Cañada Flintridge City Hall for more than five years may soon come to an end, with City Council members deciding Monday to broker an easement over a disputed slice of land.
Dr. Philip Merritt has been fighting with neighbors and the city to use Windermere Place, a street off Inverness Drive that exists in name only, to access a home he plans to build on hillside property that abuts Hampstead Road.
The city-drafted easement proposal would allow Merritt to build Windermere as a private driveway instead, with neighbors also having rights to use it if they agree to share construction costs.
If signed into effect in coming weeks by the city and Merritt, it would also diffuse threats by Merritt to file a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the city.
Merritt previously won a court battle with the city over the right to develop Windermere Place as a public street, but earlier this year offered to narrow the scope of the project down to a driveway — though only if he were allowed to purchase the land from the city.