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Clark County Stormwater Requirements Modified to Reflect Local Conditions
Posted on Monday, December 21, 2015 by
On December 10, 2015, the Department of Ecology approved a locally-calibrated model for four of the five Clark County soil groups (SG1, SG2, SG4, and SG5). For soil group SG 3, one change is curren...
Point-based System of Land Designation Viable
Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015
BY KRISTIN FRENCHThe good news is that Washington counties may utilize point systems to evaluate lands for Growth Management Act designation. However as Ferry County recently learned, the bad news ...
Land Use Regulations Tied to Inequality
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015
BY KRISTIN FRENCH AND JOSEPH SCHAEFERGovernmental economists are concerned: incomes for the middle class aren’t rising, and inequality is.  Land-use restrictions are at least partially t...
Metro UGB Decision Conflicts with Claims of Housing Crisis
Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2015
BY KRISTIN FRENCHThe November 12, 2015 Metro Council decision to not expand the Urban Growth Boundary (“UGB”) flies in the face of statewide planning goals and blithely ignores present-...
Subcontractor or Materialman?
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2015
BY BRENT CARPENTERWhat is a subcontractor? The answer to the question seems obvious, but it is not always easy to distinguish a subcontractor from a materialman (i.e., materials supplier). However,...
Oregon Court of Appeals Approves Scappoose UGB Expansion
Posted on Monday, November 02, 2015
In a breathtaking turnaround from many prior opinions that denied urban growth boundary expansions (think Metro, Woodburn, Newberg, McMinnville, and…), the Oregon Court of Appeals approved t...
A Pyrrhic Victory: Multi/Tech v. Innovative Design and Construction
Posted on Friday, October 16, 2015
BY JACOB ZAHNISER OCTOBER 2015In the Pyrrhic War, King Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated the Romans but suffered tremendous casualties in doing so: he won the battle, but lost the war. Hence, a “Py...
WOTUS Part 6: Sixth Circuit Issues a Potentially Permanent Stay Preventing Implementation
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2015 by Peter D. Mohr
As recently discussed on this blog, last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard petitioners’ and respondents’ arguments from the four separate actions cont...
OPMA Decision: What Constitutes a Meeting?
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2015
BY KRISTIN FRENCH OCTOBER 2015Until now, the answer to the question–when are committees associated with governing bodies of public agencies subject to Washington’s Open Public Meetings...
WOTUS Part 5: Too Many Courts
Posted on Wednesday, October 07, 2015
BY PETER MOHR In the wake of conflicting federal district court decisions addressing implementation of the “Waters of the United States” rule, the Sixth Circuit finally entered the...
Agricultural Efficiency Measures Stretch Water Supplies in the Face of Drought
Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2015
By Steve Shropshire Last week I had an opportunity to spend several days in Oregon’s Owyhee Basin. The Owyhee Basin is one of the largest drainages in the Columbia Basin, covering 11,049...
Jaime Herrera Beutler Introduces Pro-Jobs Bill to Move Stalled Economic Development Projects Forward
Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Jordan Ramis land use attorney Jamie Howsley works closely with many government agencies to expedite economic development projects.  One perennial cause for delays is when a public agency must...
WOTUS Part 4: North Dakota District Court Makes a Decision
Posted on Tuesday, September 08, 2015
BY PETER MOHR As previously posted on this blog, on August 27, the federal District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking implementat...
WOTUS Part 3: Litigation Gains Momentum
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2015
BY PETER MOHR This past Thursday, August 27, the federal District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking implementation of the Environmenta...
Stored Water Released into Klamath River to Protect Fish
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2015
BY STEVE SHROPSHIRE On August 20th, the US Bureau of Reclamation announced that it would begin releasing stored water from the Trinity River (a major Klamath River tributary) in an attempt to ...
Water Quality Concerns Raised in Conjuction with Aggregate Mine Siting Application
Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015
BY STEVE SHROPSHIRE Over the last year, Oregon’s land use and water laws have been front and center in a number of controversial development projects. Further, opponents of projects invo...
In Other News: Shade Balls
Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2015
BY DIANE LENKOWSKY California’s drought has opened the gates for creative attempts to conserve water.  Shade balls may be the most endearing. If you are anything like me, the sight ...
WOTUS Part 2: The States Attempt to Delay Implementation
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2015
BY PETER MOHR Set to go into effect on Aug. 28, 2015, the final rule defining “Water of the United States” continues to generate increasing controversy as public and private intere...
Addressing Algal Blooms in Rocky Mountain National Park
Posted on Thursday, August 06, 2015
BY DIANE LENKOWSKY Excessive amounts of nitrogen have brought a new and unwanted feature to the lakes and meadows of the Rocky Mountain National Park–algal blooms in the park’s hig...
When in D(r)oubt: Use Gray Water
Posted on Monday, August 03, 2015
BY DIANE LENKOWSKY A recent OPB story on the use of gray water (spelled “graywater” by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality) in Oregon reports that Oregonians may not be ...
Portland Japanese Garden Expansion
Posted on Friday, July 31, 2015
If you’ve ever had friends or family visit, you’ve likely been asked: “When are we going to the Japanese Garden?”  A Portland staple, over 300,000 visitors enjoy it eve...
Oregon Governor Directs Agencies to Demonstrate 15% Reduction in Water Use
Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2015
BY PETER MOHR Having issued drought declarations in 23 of Oregon’s 36 counties to date, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has decided to make sure the State does its part.  Yesterday, Gove...
Nestle's Bottled Water Plant in Hot Water?
Posted on Monday, July 27, 2015
BY DIANE LENKOWSKY The Oregon Department of Water Resources is still considering a proposal by the City of Cascade Locks to transfer certain ODFW water rights to Nestle in order to open a bott...
Oregon Drought Watch
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015
BY PETER MOHR  Oregon Governor Kate Brown has recently declared drought emergencies in four additional Oregon counties due to drought, low snow pack levels, and low water conditions.  ...
WOTUS Part 1: The Federal Government Expands Jurisdiction
Posted on Monday, July 20, 2015
BY PETER MOHR On May 27, 2015, the US EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers released the final rule defining “water of the United States” (“WOTUS”) which, according to...
Big Decision in Abercrombie Case
Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
By Amy Robinson
Housing Up, Up, and A Way Up
Posted on Friday, June 05, 2015
By Jamie Howsley So I just watched Moneyball again this past week, and it always reminds me of my love for statistics.  I think it goes back to all those years of collecting baseball cards an...
New Washington Law Makes Building Houses Less Expensive
Posted on Friday, May 29, 2015
Homebuilders pay tens of thousands of dollars in impact fees when they obtain building permits, even though the actual impacts being paid for do not occur until after the house is sold and the firs...
Local Governments Can Use Zoning to Ban Marijuana Gardens
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2015
The Washington Supreme Court made an important ruling today on collective gardens that grow marijuana. Though the Washington State Medical Use of Cannabis Act (MUCA) allows patients who qualify to ...
Why Misclassification Matters
Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2015
So why is misclassification such a big deal?   Well, for taxing authorities, classifying a worker as a contractor rather than an employee results in lost tax revenue.  For others, it mea...
Is the $200,000 Home Dead?
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
By Jamie Howsley In a very well written article in Builder Magazine they posit the question of whether or not an affordable single family detached starter home is a thing of the past.  The ar...
The Difference Between Medical and Recreational Pot
Posted on Monday, March 02, 2015
The difference between medical and recreational pot is regulatory. Medical pot is regulated by the Oregon Health Authority, whose focus is licensing of growers, and on prescriptions and eligibility...
Succession Planning for Development and Construction
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Successful succession planning is the art of transferring the control, ownership, and management of the business.  While each of these elements (control, ownership, and management) requires ca...
Vested Rights Taking Center Stage in Washington
Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2015
The Washington Supreme Court denied review of the Potala Village Development v. City of Kirkland case today.  Potala Village planned a 143-unit residential development in Kirkland, but the Cit...
Rock, Paper, Scissors?
Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Division II of the Washington Court of Appeals ruled today that Whatcom County should not be compelled to adopt a Comprehensive Plan amendment allowing for the expansion of a mineral resource zone ...
Fish Persistence and Municipal Water Rights Extensions
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2015
Oregon Court of Appeals reviewed conditions for fish persistence placed on extensions to a municipal water permit.