Northwest Land Matters

Northwest Land Matters

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

Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Planning the Future of Your Farm

Posted in Growth Management Act, Land Use, Uncategorized
The Washington Conservation Commission’s Office of Farmland Preservation recently published Planning the Future of Your Farm, a workbook for families who want to keep their farmland in production and/or “in the family” as it passes to the next generation.  Among other tools, the publication addresses how to navigate the challenges families face in managing the… Continue Reading

Ecology Re-Issues Municipal Stormwater General Permits

Posted in Uncategorized
The Washington State Department of Ecology just re-issued the general permits that regulate discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) in Western Washington.  The re-issued permits will require local governments in Western Washington to make changes in their regulation and management of polluted stormwater runoff. As explained by Ecology, the agency re-issued the permits… Continue Reading

White House Releases Third U.S. National Climate Assessment

Posted in Climate Change, Energy, Environmental, Uncategorized
On May 6, the White House released the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, the most authoritative and comprehensive source of scientific information to date about climate-change impacts across all U.S. regions and on critical sectors of the economy. The report, co-authored by VNF Partner, TC Richmond, is a key deliverable of President Obama’s Climate Action… Continue Reading

Inslee Announces Executive Action to Reduce Carbon Pollution and Promote Clean Energy

Posted in Uncategorized
Today, Governor Inslee signed an executive order establishing a Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce to provide recommendations on the design and implementation of a carbon emission limits and market mechanisms program to reduce carbon pollution and stimulate clean energy development in Washington State.  The Taskforce will include Governor-appointed representatives of business, labor, public interests, and public… Continue Reading

Marijuana Zoning Issues Heating Up

Posted in Land Use, Municipal, Uncategorized
It appears that getting the green light to operate a marijuana business depends on your zip code. Some local governments in Washington are taking action to ban medical and recreational marijuana operations, while others are permitting or even attempting to encourage marijuana businesses.  Jurisdictions permitting marijuana businesses may be welcoming decisions by others to adopt marijuana bans,… Continue Reading

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

FEMA Developing Procedures for Tribal Governments to Request Disaster Declarations

Posted in Uncategorized
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is soliciting comments on a new proposed rule that could make Federal disaster recovery funding much more accessible to Indian tribes.  The new rulemaking may result in a breakthrough for Indian tribes that wish to work with FEMA, depending on the strength of public comments and FEMA’s efforts to… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Energy Issues Final Order and “Finding of No Significant Impact” for Sabine Pass Liquefaction Export Project

Posted in Uncategorized
On August 7, 2012, the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued a Final Opinion and Order, Order No. 2961-A, granting long-term authorization to Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC (“Sabine Pass”) to export liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana to non-Free Trade Agreement (“non-FTA”)… Continue Reading

New Legislation Affecting GMA Jurisdiction’s Treatment of Certain Facilities Within Port and Irrigation Districts

Posted in Uncategorized
On March 7, 2012, Governor Gregoire signed E2SSB 5292, which amends the definition of critical areas under the GMA to exclude certain irrigation and drainage structures that lie within and are maintained by a port district, or an irrigation district or company.  The amendment to the definition of critical areas in RCW 36.70A.030 has an effective… Continue Reading

2010 Census: Are GMA Urban Growth Areas Working to Consolidate Growth?

Posted in Uncategorized
Geography professor emeritus, Richard Morrill from the University of Washington posted an article describing trends in population growth across the state between 2000 and 2010, based on a look at 2010 census data.  One striking observation stands out, particularly for GMA advocates who emphasize the importance of setting tight urban growth boundaries inside which growth… Continue Reading

Washington & British Columbia Work to Promote Public Awareness of Sea Level Rise

Posted in Uncategorized
Environmental leaders from Washington and British Columbia are working together  to fight against and prepare for climate change, including promoting public awareness of sea level rise and impacts on coastal areas.   With the increasing likelihood, if not certainty of sea level rise in the Puget Sound  over the next few decades, local governments and shoreline… 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