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Real Property & Development Review

Tag Archives: Local Ordinances

Governor Orders State and Local Cooperation on Southern Oregon Land Use Planning

Posted in Land Use

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to cooperate with local efforts to redefine farm and forest lands in three southern Oregon counties. The order implements an earmark passed by the Oregon Legislature earlier this year that provides funding for technical studies, mapping and a state rulemaking process. If successful, this… Continue Reading

“Manner” or “Purpose” – More Confusion from the PCHB in Painted Summer Hills, LLC v. Department of Ecology, PCHB No. 09-006

Posted in Environmental

If you have a water right issued by the Washington Department of Ecology, you may not think very much about whether it is called a water right “permit” or a water right “certificate.” Permit, certificate, isn’t it the same? Truth be told – No, these documents are not the same, and may be treated very… Continue Reading

Seattle Landlords’ Energy Efficiency Reports Due Oct. 3, 2011 or April 1, 2012

Posted in Land Use

Authored by:  Clayton Graham and Jim Greenfield Many Seattle landlords and other building owners will soon need to begin reporting on the energy efficiency of their buildings. As reported in DWT’s Northwest Real Estate Blog last year, a Seattle ordinance passed in connection with the state’s Efficiency First! Act requires many Seattle building owners to… Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court: Statute Limiting Developer Charges Does Not Apply to Local Shoreline Master Programs

Posted in Land Use

The Washington Supreme Court recently removed one vehicle for developers to challenge requirements imposed under local governments’ shoreline regulations. In Citizens for Rational Shoreline Planning (CRSP) v. Whatcom County, the Court considered whether regulations in the County’s Shoreline Master Program (“SMP”) could be challenged under a provision of RCW 82.02.020 which generally prohibits any local government… Continue Reading

Nonconforming Use Will Not Be Recognized if Established by a Trespasser

Posted in Land Use

A recent Court of Appeals decision has limited the situations in which courts will allow a “nonconforming use”—that is, a use that was legal when it was established but is no longer permitted under current local land use regulations (sometimes referred to as “grandfathered”).  Many local land use codes allow nonconforming uses to continue subject… Continue Reading

Local Development Standards to Be Modified to Comply with Endangered Species Act

Posted in Land Use

Authored by Clayton P. Graham and James A. Greenfield In a development of great interest to owners of property in or near floodplains, many local jurisdictions in Washington state will soon begin updating their floodplain development regulations to comply with new federal requirements. As discussed in a post on Davis Wright Tremaine’s Real Estate Blog,… Continue Reading

FEMA’s Revised Flood Maps to Affect Development, Availability of Flood Insurance in Western Washington

Posted in Land Use

Authored by:  Craig Gannett and Clayton P. Graham Landowners and developers across Western Washington will be affected by floodplain map revisions that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans to carry out in the coming months. These map updates are part of FEMA’s administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and changes in map… Continue Reading

New Seattle Ordinance Requires Building Owners to Report Annually on Energy Efficiency

Posted in Real Estate

Authored by:  Jim Greenfield, and Lauren Giles In an ordinance adopted January 25, 2010 (Council Bill No. 116731) and signed by the Mayor on February 4, 2010 (Ordinance 123226), the Seattle City Council created new energy efficiency reporting requirements for owners of nonresidential and multi-family buildings located in the City of Seattle. The ordinance adopted by… Continue Reading

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance Survives Constitutional Challenge

Posted in Land Use

Authored by: Jim Greenfield and Clayton Graham This week, the Division One Court of Appeals filed its opinion in the case of Connor v. City of Seattle, which addressed a challenge to the application of Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Ordinance (LPO) to certain homeowners’ (the Connors) residential property in West Seattle.  When the Connors bought the property,… Continue Reading

City and County Governments Authorize Permit Extensions for Active Development Projects

Posted in Construction, Land Use

This post is authored by:  Clayton Graham & Thomas Goeltz Landowners and developers in Washington state should be aware of a spate of recent legislation aimed at prolonging the life of active land development permits. Developers who request these extensions in a timely manner could effectively extend the life of their development approvals—including certain building… Continue Reading

New Parks Impact Fee Not Offset by Prior Land Dedication

Posted in Real Estate

In a recent impact fees case, Belleau Woods v. City of Bellingham, the Division I Court of Appeals upheld the City of Bellingham’s application of a new park impact fee ordinance to a development that was already conditioned on a land dedication and payment under a separate parks-related development requirement. The Court reaffirmed its prior holdings… Continue Reading

Seattle Tree Preservation: Trees Now Protected on Lots Not Undergoing Development

Posted in Real Estate

In January, we discussed the Seattle City Council’s consideration of Council Bill 116404, which would increase tree protection under the City Code. On February 23, 2009, the City Council passed the ordinance with a vote of 8-1, and the Mayor signed the legislation on March 2nd. This ordinance limits removal of “exceptional trees” (as defined in… Continue Reading

Seattle Tree Preservation: Proposed Expansion of City Tree Protection Ordinance

Posted in Real Estate

The Seattle City Council is currently considering legislation that would increase the number of trees within the City that are protected under City regulations, and could affect the development potential of many lots within the City. The proposed ordinance (council bill 116404) would expand existing tree protections to include sites not undergoing development, would prohibit… Continue Reading

Exempt Well Emergency Rule Will Complicate Residential Development in Upper Kittitas County

Posted in Real Estate

Effective, July 8, 2008, the Washington Department of Ecology has adopted an emergency rule regulating and restricting the use of so-called “exempt” wells for domestic water supply within Upper Kittitas County. Ecology’s emergency rule institutes a partial withdrawal and restriction on use of ground water via exempt wells in the upper portion of the County in… Continue Reading