Like all standoffs, the showdown between shipwright Dennis Holland and the city of Newport Beach ended with someone flinching.
In this case, the conclusion came none too late before a trial was scheduled Monday.
Instead of beginning jury selection, Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Munoz signed off on a settlement between Holland and the city that allows Holland to keep his dismantled 1916 ketch, Shawnee, as long as it's away from public view in the backyard of his West Bay home on Holiday Road.
For the 66-year-old, Monday's conclusion came as a reprieve.
"You know, we weren't getting anywhere," Holland said. "I decided this has been going on too long. I decided they're right. … I feel relieved and happy and everything, so it's really nice. I just wish I could have talked to the city attorneys years ago."
Holland, a cancer survivor, said he's eager to pick up his hammer again after working on the boat slowly and irregularly over the last 18 months.