Northwest Land Matters

Northwest Land Matters

Developments in Energy, Natural Resources & Environmental, Real Estate, and Land Use Law in the Pacific NW

Tag Archives: “Washington State Supreme Court”

Supreme Court Issues Yet Another Decision Requiring LUPA Petitions To Be Filed And Served Within 21 Days

Posted in Uncategorized
On October 2, 2013, the Washington State Supreme Court denied review of a Court of Appeals opinion that affirmed a zoning decision by the City of Tacoma, allowing the Court of Appeals opinion and the City’s zoning decision to stand. In Northshore Investors, LLC v. City of Tacoma, 301 P.3d 1049 (2013), the Court of… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules That Private Parties Do Not Have Avenue For Relief in Appeals of Docketing Decisions

Posted in Growth Management Act, Land Use, Municipal
Last week, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in Stafne v. Snohomish County, reversing a lower appellate court decision that had caused consternation among local jurisdictions throughout the state.  The case clarifies the ability of a party to appeal a local jurisdiction’s decision to reject a privately-initiated proposal to amend a comprehensive plan amendment as… Continue Reading

Rezoning Decisions Are Made by Local Governments, Not the Courts

Posted in Development, Growth Management Act, Land Use, Municipal
There are two different types of rezoning decisions: area-wide rezones and site-specific rezones. Traditionally, both types of rezones were considered to be purely legislative decisions and, like all legislative decisions, were given a high degree of deference by the courts.  Since the passage of the Land Use Petition Act (LUPA) in 1995, however, site-specific rezones… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules on the Role of Special Purpose Districts in Concurrency Determinations

Posted in Growth Management Act, Land Use, Municipal
On Thursday, May 5, the state Supreme Court issued a decision in Whatcom County Fire District No. 21 v. Whatcom County, which has implications on concurrency determinations for development proposals.  “Concurrency” is captured in the twelfth goal of the growth management act and requires that an adequate level of service should be available at the time… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Accepts Review of the Groundwater Stockwatering Exemption

Posted in Water Law
The Washington State Supreme Court just accepted review of Five Corners Family Farm et al. v. Department of Ecology (Easterday Ranches), which will determine the quantity of permit-exempt groundwater rights for stockwatering under the state Groundwater Code.  The legal dispute in Easterday concerns a narrow question of statutory interpretation – whether reference to a 5,000… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Municipal Water Law Against Constitutional Challenges

Posted in Municipal, Water Law
Today, the Washington State Supreme Court issued the long awaited decision in Lummi Indian Nation, et al., v. State of Washington.  This landmark water rights decision upholds the Municipal Water Law (“MWL”) against all of the Plaintiffs’ facial constitutional challenges and resolves disputes and uncertainties over the water rights of public water systems in this state… Continue Reading

Are Open Space and Tree Preservation Ordinances Legal?

Posted in Uncategorized
Many jurisdictions either already have, or would like to consider adopting, ordinances that impose minimum open space requirements and/or require protection of a specified number of trees or amount of tree canopy to retain the benefits that open space and tree preservation provide.  In many cases, to keep compliance and implementation simple and predictable, ordinances… Continue Reading