Land Use and Environmental Law

Annexations

Preparation and filing of petitions to annex unincorporated lands into municipal corporations 

Representation of proposed annexations before municipal governments and boundary review boards 

Negotiation of annexation agreements  

Zoning

County and City Comprehensive Plan Policy amendments and Land Use Map amendments 

Rezones (zoning map amendments) 

Planned  Unit Developments (PUDs), sometimes called Planned Residential  Developments (PRDs) or Planned Development Districts (PDDs) 

Amendments of local zoning and land use regulations and of other types of land development regulations 

Zoning Code/Land Use Code interpretations 

Defense of alleged violations of zoning and land use regulations  

Divisions of Land

Subdivisions of land (including both preliminary plat and final plat  matters and including application preparation, negotiation with county  and city staff concerning proposed conditions of approval, and  representation at subdivision public hearings and appeal proceedings) 

“Short” subdivisions of land 

Boundary line adjustments (aka “lot line adjustments”) 

Binding Site Plans 

Advocacy of the application of statutory and constitutional limitations on governmental regulation of land use and development 

Statutorily exempt divisions of land 

Time extensions of preliminary plat approvals and other types of approvals relating to divisions of land 

Amendments to preliminary plat approvals and to other types of approvals relating to divisions of land 

Defense of alleged violations of subdivision approvals 

Shorelines and Shoreline Development

 Amendments of local Shoreline Master Programs under Washington’s Shoreline Management Act (SMA) 

Shoreline substantial development permits 

Other shoreline-related approvals 

Advocacy of the application of statutory and constitutional limitations on governmental regulation of land use and development 

Appeals to Washington’s Shoreline Hearings Board

Compliance with Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)

Evaluation of environmental impact issues (including consultation with  developer clients and their design and technical team members concerning  such issues), 

Negotiation with SEPA Responsible Officials concerning SEPA mitigating measures and other SEPA review matters 

Preparation  of and/or review of and commenting on SEPA documents (including SEPA  environmental checklists and supporting technical reports, SEPA  threshold determinations, and environmental impact statements) 

Filing and/or advocating for or against SEPA appeals  

“Critical Areas” Issues

Regulatory matters and issues relating to wetlands, streams, wildlife  habitat areas, steep slopes, geotechnical hazard areas, erosion hazard  areas, and aquifer recharge areas 

“Impact Fees” and “Mitigation Fees” on Proposed Development 

Negotiation  of and challenges to impact or mitigation fees threatened or imposed by  county, city, or state agencies or by school districts on certain  classes of new development, such as 

Transportation impact or mitigation fees 

Park impact or mitigation fees 

School impact or mitigation fees  

Site Use, Site Plan, and Design Review Approvals

Conceptual plan/master plan/site plan approvals for residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use developments 

Conditional use permits 

“Special” use permits 

Unclassified use permits 

Design review approvals by local government planning departments and by design review boards 

Advocacy of the application of statutory and constitutional limitations on governmental regulation of land use and development 

Time extensions of site use, site plan, and design review approvals 

Amendments to site use, site plan, and design review approvals 

Defense of alleged violations of site use, site plan, and design review approvals  

Construction Permits

Filling and grading permits 

Gravel mining and rock quarrying  permits (including local grading permits and Washington Department of  Natural Resources mine reclamation permits) 

Building permits 

Utility construction permits for sewer systems, water systems, and stormwater systems 

Other construction-related permits 

On-site sewage system (OSS) approvals and related matters (for commercial and residential development) 

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permits and related matters 

Advocacy of the application of statutory and constitutional limitations on governmental regulation of land use and development 

Time extensions of building and construction permits 

Amendments to building and construction permits 

Defense of alleged violations of building and construction permits  

Public Improvement Arrangements Relating to Real Estate Development

Local Improvement District (LID) matters 

Utility Local Improvement District (ULID) matters 

Developer  Extension Agreements with cities, counties, or sewer and/or water  districts for sewer main and water main extensions and related  facilities 

Roads, Streets, and Highways

Roadway, street, and highway construction approvals and permits  (involving local governments and/or the Washington State Department of  Transportation) 

Right-of-way use permits 

Street vacations (aka right-of-way vacations)  

Railroad Crossings

Highway/roadway-rail grade crossing matters under the jurisdiction of  the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC)

Vesting of Development Rights

 Vesting under state and/or local law of certain types of development  rights by virtue of the filing and/or approval of preliminary plat  applications, short plat applications, site plan approval applications,  building permit applications, and other development-related  applications 

Contractual “vesting of rights” by use of Development Agreements authorized by RCW 36.70B.170 through 36.70B.190 

Legal nonconforming uses and nonconforming structures (sometimes referred to as “grandfather rights”) 

Nonconforming use approvals and permits 

To schedule an initial consultation or request more information, please contact us.