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The Third Special Session—A SEPA Reform Bill Got Introduced Amongst All the Jet Engine Noise
Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013
Governor Inslee called a third special session in Washington this past week to assist Boeing.  Measures include aircraft tax incentives, set to expire in 2024, getting a 16-year extension...
Reflections from the NPDES Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit Appeal – The Spooky Halloween Post
Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2013
On Thursday, October 24, after three weeks of testimony on the Phase I permit (and some issues from the Phase II permit), the trial at the Pollution Control Hearings Board concluded.  Clearly,...
Stormwater Appeal Update
Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013
BIA of Clark County and the counties of Pierce, King, Snohomish and Clark, and cities of Seattle and Tacoma, along with a number of smaller Phase II jurisdictions concluded their case in chief this...
Opening Statements at the Pollution Control Hearings Board
Posted on Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Opening statements at the Pollution Control Hearings Board laid out the arguments of the numerous appellants.  The local governments argued that while LID techniques are effective in many appl...
Washington Stormwater Appeals Begin a New Round With New Participants
Posted on Sunday, October 06, 2013
Monday, October 7, the curtain goes up on the next act in the long running Washington stormwater imbroglio.  What is different this time is that five counties, twenty-five cities, and the Wash...
They Keep Going and Going and Going
Posted on Monday, June 03, 2013
The 2013 Legislature continues in special session to resolve differences between the House and Senate budgets.  This 30-day special session is set to conclude by June 12, although no budget br...
Future of Retail in Portland and the Metro Region
Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013
I went to NAOIP’s excellent breakfast series yesterday morning entitled “The Regional Retail Market: What’s Next?” that had several nuggets and take aways.  O...
Plat Extension Bill Signed by Governor Inslee
Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013
House Bill 1074 which extends plats up to a maximum of ten years was signed by Governor Inslee yesterday at 1:30. As previously discussed here and here on...
Impact Fee Deferral Bill Passes the Senate
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2013
House Bill 1652 just passed out of the Washington Senate in a 34-14 vote with strong bi-partisan support.  The bill was amended to clarify that jurisdictions already deferr...
Permits Point to Recovery
Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013
In yet more positive news for the housing industry in the Portland/Vancouver Metropolitan region, building permits are up in Clark County and Oregon. Oregon’s five mo...
Clark County Stormwater Update
Posted on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Here is a good article from the Vancouver Business Journal on the status of the stormwater lawsuits involving Clark County.  It also mentions this letter that Clark County recei...
Plat Extension Bill Just Passes Washington Senate
Posted on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
The Washington Senate just unanimously passed House Bill 1074  (47 for, 2 absent).  The Senate did not amend the bill.  It now moves to the Governor’s desk for signature.&...
Remember the Big Picture
Posted on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Remember the big picture. This phrase became indelibly etched on my mind by my father when I began learning the craft of being an attorney. Just before the last real estate recession, many people w...
Spring Brings Renewal
Posted on Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Over the course of the past month,  there has been a flood of data indicating that housing is making a strong recovery.  Furthermore, according to many economists housing is currently one...
Modern Homes Tour Follow-up
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A couple of weeks ago I posted here about a new style of infill house that would be showcased on theModern Homes tour.  As promised, I went on the tour and visited all but ...
Washington Supreme Court Says Annexed Lands Can Remain
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013
A unanimous court decision reversed an earlier ruling of the Washington Court of Appeals Division II today, holding that lands annexed to the cities of Ridgefield and Camas would remain a...
Getting Things Shovel Ready. Oregon House Bill 2284 Provides Hope.
Posted on Thursday, March 07, 2013
Years ago during former Governor Kulongoski’s first run for Governor, I was asked to provide a list to his campaign of land use items that I saw as extremely important to creating jobs in Ore...
Stormwater Petition for Review Denied
Posted on Wednesday, March 06, 2013
The Washington Supreme Court denied Clark County and the Building Industry Association of Clark County petitions for review challenging the ruling of Division II of the Washington Court o...
Plat Extension Bill Moves Unanimously Out of Washington House
Posted on Wednesday, March 06, 2013
On Monday, February 4, 2013, in a 98-0 vote, the Washington House passed House Bill 1074.  As discussed here last week on the Dirt Law Blog, House Bill 1074 would extend plats o...
Clark County Extends Land Use Approvals
Posted on Tuesday, March 05, 2013
On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, the Clark County Board of Commissioners extended land use approvals for preliminary land division, planned unit developments, site plans, conditional use permits, mas...
Can I Get A Mulligan?
Posted on Friday, March 01, 2013
A very fascinating case just announced on Valentine’s Day by Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals denied “a mulligan” to a group of property owners seeking to keep open...
Washington Legislative Update Post Bill Cut-Off
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2013
I’d like to give a brief status update on where some important land use bills stand following the cut-off date to make it out of committee this past Friday. Impact Fees House Bill 1652&nb...
A New Style of Infill House?
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
This is a pretty cool house with an accessory dwelling unit ("ADU") that just recently completed construction in Portland. A while ago I posted about some pioneering things going on in small lot de...
The Development Game
Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013
A few months ago I gave a presentation to a group of business people in the community wanting to learn more about the challenges of development.  I thought long and hard about a medium that co...
The TIFF About TIF
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013
Here is some interesting data compiled by Chris Comeau, AICP, Transportation Planner with Bellingham Public Works, for traffic impact fee (“TIF”) rates in the state of Washington a...
Friday Fun Post
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013
I attended the dinner for the conference by the  International Academic Association on Planning, Law and Property Rights held here in Portland, Oregon last evening.  As any...
A Subtle Change Makes A Huge Difference in New SEPA Exemptions
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013
As previously reported on this blog, the Washington Legislature directed the Department of Ecology to revise and amend the SEPA rules to streamline permitting processes.  The first proces...
Energy Efficiency and Home Inspection Bills
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Washington Senate Bill 5076 and accompanying companion House Bill 1181 would require home inspectors to include in their written report to prospective homeowners information des...
County Can Set Reasonable Conditions Absent Express Language
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Today, January 22, 2013, Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the ability of the Benton County Board of Adjustment to set reasonable conditions on t...
U.S. Supreme Court Hears New Takings Case
Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013
On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in the Koontz v. St. Johns River Management District case.  There are two questions presented ...
Stage One Washington State Environmental Policy Act (“SEPA”) Reforms Adopted
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013
In 2012, the Washington legislature directed the Department of Ecology to revisit and amend SEPA rules to streamline the permit process. The Department of  Ecology will be doing this in a two-...
Environmental Rules
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013
In 2012, local governments successfully got a reprieve of several years for Phase II municipalities from low impact development requirements (“LID”). But Clark County and other Phase I ...
2013 Legislative Forecast
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013
With 2012 in the history books, we pulled out the crystal ball to look at what issues will arise in the legislature in 2013. With a new governor and a very unusual make up in the Washington legisla...
U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Stormwater
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in which it ruled that water flowing from an improved portion of a navigable waterway to an unimproved portion of the same waterway does not quali...
EPA Cannot Regulate Stormwater as a Pollutant
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013
In a recent ruling the Eastern District of the Federal Court in Virginia ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) cannot regulate stormwater as a pollutant under...
A Storm of Legislation in Washington
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013
The Washington legislature is currently looking at three separate bills that would address various aspects of Washington’s stormwater requirements.  Representative Liz Pike is the p...