Development and subsequent amendment of the City of Mill Creek's 1994 GMA compliant comprehensive plan. This included strategic advice on contents, coordination and consistency of the plan, as well as concurrent SEPA analysis and public process/participation actions. No appeals of Mill Creek comprehensive planning actions have ever been filed.
Development and implementation of Mill Creek's SR 527 Subarea Plan and Planned Action. This resulted in the build-out of an approximate 100 acre undeveloped area with high density residential, parks, open space, downtown and new transportation corridors. No appeals of this planning action were filed, either during initial adoption or in subsequent implementation using the expedited planned action feature under SEPA.
Development and implementation of the Town of Woodway's 2004 comprehensive plan amendments in the face of hostile land owner position. This was a follow-on to earlier GMHB litigation, and was critical to enlarging the Town's urban growth area. Although appeals were filed, the Town prevailed with a unanimous Supreme Court decision upholding Woodway's planning actions.
Development and implementation of consistent development regulations related to the planning actions described above. This included drafting and integration of zoning districts, SEPA regulations, development regulations, critical areas regulations, and more.
Prevailed in a complex land use appeal to the Court of Appeals involving questions of appropriate traffic and recreational mitigation for development impacts. The outcome represented a value to the client of more than $250,000. The State Supreme Court declined to review that decision.
Prevailed in a focused appeal challenging plat development and environmental conditions for a 23 lot subdivision. The case hinged on the application of a new Court of Appeals decision, and resulted in a net savings to the land owner of approximately $400,000 in development costs and mitigation assessments.
Represented a property owner in the successful development of a 50 acre parcel on Camano Island. Through a combined plat and planned unit development, 21 shoreline and upland residential lots were approved, with 40 acres of the property dedicated to open space, wetland, and park purposes. This project spanned pre- and post-GMA planning standards, requiring creative approaches to legal and administrative hurdles. A subsequent land use appeal filed by adjacent property owners was successfully resolved.
Represented a Canadian property owner in completing the permitting for a combined 40 lot plat and multi-family PUD. This project was originally approved under County authority and was assumed by a newly incorporated City. Significant legal and political hurdles were overcome regarding project vesting and implementation of the approved plan.
Represented a developer in negotiating a preliminary development agreement, followed by a purchase and sale agreement, for property owned by a City. Successfully obtained appropriate commitments regarding development conditions of the surrounding property to ensure integration with a new downtown center.
Development of Mill Creek's new Town Center, a 15-year project that has resulted in one of the most successful new retail and mixed use "downtowns" in Western Washington. Work included planning elements, financing options, public-private partnerships, property acquisitions, permitting and other related actions.This project required significant planning, strategy and policy decisions, and continual adjustments over the course of many years to make it a reality.
Represented two religious institutions, one in an action to obtain a permit to conduct periodic large-scale religious activities, and the other in dealing with adjacent development potentially affecting its religious practices. Successfully resolved both cases, including appeals.
Past and present representation of commercial property developers in many of the cities and towns in the Puget Sound area. Work has included assistance in resolving permit issues and obtaining workable permits with reasonable mitigation conditions.
Represented a developer in finalizing the permitting and approvals of a subdivision originally permitted in the County and then annexed into a new City.
Represented a property owner in an appeal of an annexation of their property into a nearby City, successfully obtaining a dismissal of the appeal at a preliminary stage and avoiding lengthy and costly hearings. Represented a citizens group in challenging an annexation. Represented cities and counties in annexation proceedings.
Represented various individuals and governments before the Shorelines Hearings Board on large and small shoreline development projects. Obtained a significant SHB ruling on a downtown waterfront hotel in client's favor.
Represented several property owners throughout Puget Sound and Washington on landslide and drainage issues, both at the administrative level and in litigation. Successfully resolved claims through mediation.
The attorneys in our Land Use and Development Group have many collective years of experience in the public and private sectors, and are familiar with many of the region's city attorneys, city and county councils, planning staffs and planning commissions. Our experience enables us to quickly understand land use and development problems, assess options, and implement strategies having the best chance of success (and which also meet the business needs of our clients.
Scope of Practice Area
Our attorneys are familiar with the basic and esoteric aspects of land development laws, including the multitude of statutes and frequently overlapping regulations. We advise private clients and public entities on all substantive and procedural aspects of land use and property development. We help our clients understand complex land use regulations and assist them in determining successful strategies, acquiring permits, negotiating resolutions to compliance problems, presenting projects at land use hearings, and handling appeals of land use decisions.