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Tag: buffers

August 31, 2017

Article: are critical area buffers unconstitutional?

Today, the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law published my article, Are Critical Area Buffers Unconstitutional? Demystifying The Doctrine of Unconstitutional Conditions. Although the article focuses on developments in Washington state law, it contains arguments relevant to property rights practitioners elsewhere. For example, the article explains ...

September 14, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court set to conference on shoreline exaction scheme

Almost a century ago, Justice Holmes famously warned that “We are in danger of forgetting that a strong public desire to improve the public condition is not enough to warrant achieving the desire by a shorter cut than the constitutional way of paying for the change.” This warning could not be more timely or relevant. ...

June 24, 2014

Washington trial court fumbles the ball in a post-Koontz case

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District last year, I have been on a speaking tour with a prominent government attorney, discussing the case's impact on Washington law. One important point on which we both agreed was that Koontz clarified that an unlawful exactions case falls within the ...

January 24, 2012

Fighting Washington’s shoreline land grab

Washington's state and local governments are determined to take control over privately owned shorelines away from property owners. Over the past several years, we have seen wave after wave of regulations trying to claim the shorelines. The most recent regulatory push has targeted the permit process as the best opportunity for the government to fo ...

October 11, 2011

PLF asks U.S. Supreme Court to review big buffer case

Author: Brian T. Hodges Earlier today, PLF filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case, Kitsap Alliance for Property Owners v. Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board.  The petition asks the Court to review a Washington appellate decision holding that a city or county can force ...

July 27, 2011

Victories and unanswered questions in buffer appeal

Author: Brian T. Hodges Earlier today, the Kitsap Sun published an op-ed that I co-authored with Jackie Rossworn, executive director of Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners.  The op-ed highlights several property rights victories and important issues that remain unresolved after Washington's Supreme Court declined to review the Kitsap County bi ...

December 14, 2010

Rank, rotten, and foul! Kitsap County’s prosecutor uses shoreline buffers to make sure his neighbor can’t build his home

Author: Brian T. Hodges To borrow from Shakespeare, something is rotten in the County of Kitsap.  The County's elected prosecutor is living the American dream.  He has a fully developed waterfront property with a large home set back approximately 50 feet from his bulkheaded shoreline.  In other words, the prosecutor's home breaks ...

August 24, 2010

City claims that environmental regulations should trump constitutionally protected property rights

Author: Brian T. Hodges Kipp and Marilyn Dunlap bought a vacant residential lot in Nooksack, Washington with the dream of building their home there.  But the city had other ideas.  You see, Nooksack slough runs through the middle of the Dunlaps' lot, and the city declared that land adjacent to streams constitutes an environmentally sens ...

April 28, 2010

If at first you don’t succeed, change the rules!

Author: Brian T. Hodges Earlier today, Washington's Supreme Court granted review of a petition asking whether the Legislature can enact a bill that would operate retroactively to wipe out several years of final judicial decisions. Last year, Pacific Legal Foundation successfully argued that Kitsap County, Wash. failed to comply with the law w ...