Costco and Lepires against a wall

Every day escrow is delayed on the Costco property, Carson City loses $500.

The city has once again extended the closing date for Costco, although issues postponing escrow of the property this time could lead to a lawsuit.

The city would collect $500 in interest by putting money garnered from the sale of city property to Costco in the bank. However, a few signatures prevent the city from closing escrow on the property.

Carson City Deputy District Attorney Neil Rombardo said Thursday there may be a way for the city to close escrow on the Costco parcel with out signatures from Costco neighbors, Gene and Judy Lepire, owners of Comstock Country RV Resort.

The Lepires need to sign one document that would adjust their property line to include about 2,100 square feet of the city's property. They have refused to sign the escrow documents because they disagree with a wall bordering their property and the Costco parcel.

Rombardo proposed to members of the Redevelopment Authority that the authority ask the Carson City Planning Commission to split the sliver of land from the parcel being purchased by Costco. The Redevelopment Authority would retain ownership of the small parcel, and escrow for the rest of the Costco property could continue.

Escrow must close by Aug. 15, Rombardo said, or technically, Costco could walk away from or modify the agreement with the city.

City Manager John Berkich said the move to retain the sliver of land would put the city's entire settlement agreement with the Lepires in "a weird state of limbo."

In a deal negotiated in June between the Lepires and the city, the couple will receive around $270,000 for various improvements to their property.

Berkich said by not signing the escrow papers, the Lepries cease to be part of the Costco escrow process. The city would halt further improvements to the Lepire's property. From there the deal could end up in court, where Berkich said the city would probably argue that the Lepire's broke their contract with the city, or escrow would continue between the Lepires and the city.


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