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Tag: shoreline management

February 05, 2013

Kitsap County rejects non-conforming use designation for shoreline homes

For nearly a decade, PLF was locked in litigation with Kitsap County over its critical areas ordinance.  Although the ordinance was ultimately upheld, we scored quite a few wins along the way. One of those wins may have turned the tide on a growing trend among local governments of addressing conflicts between homes and newly ...

June 26, 2012

Seattle’s wheel of irony

Seattle's newest waterfront attraction, the so-called "Great Wheel," is a sadly ironic reminder of how truly messed up our priorities are in the Pacific Northwest.  At the same time that we are glorying at the Great Wheel, local governments across the state are adopting shoreline regulations declaring waterfront homes "nonconforming uses," with t ...

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 ...

August 19, 2011

Washington Supreme Court gives local land use planning a “benevolent gesture”

Author: Brian T. Hodges Yesterday, Washington's Supreme Court issued a short decision in Citizens for Rational Shoreline Planning v. Whatcom County, ruling that the State Department of Ecology is the entity ultimately responsible if a local government's shoreline master program violates the law.  A simple proposition that brings with it chill ...

June 07, 2011

If a tree pollutes in the woods…

Author: Brian T. Hodges For years, Washington's Department of Ecology has been trying to determine the source of pollutants entering Puget Sound.  The presumption, of course, has been that those dastardly humans who have the gall to live in a home and drive to work – god forbid that they take a trip to one ...

March 28, 2011

Victoria Luhrs wins 10-year battle to protect her Lummi Island home from shoreline erosion

Author: Brian T. Hodges Earlier this year, Whatcom County ended its decade-long legal battle to prevent Lummi Island resident Victoria Luhrs from building a shore defense work that is necessary to protect her home from the damage due to wave attack and shoreline erosion.  And in so doing, the County backed off a harmful policy of ...

February 08, 2011

Finding a silver lining

Author: Brian T. Hodges Washington State requires local governments to continuously adopt, amend, and revisit their land use codes every 5-7 years to meet the moving targets of the state's environmental and growth management policies.  For years, property owners have complained about the massive cost imposed by the state's shifting developmen ...

November 02, 2010

The people behind the caption

Author: Brian T. Hodges Last week, I wrote about PLF's victory in the regulatory takings case, Dunlap v. City of Nooksack.  Well, I want to take a moment to recognize the property owners in this case, Kipp and Marilyn Dunlap.  The Dunlaps are cattle farmers who own land in the City of Nooksack, a small ...

October 25, 2010

Court of Appeals: stream buffers took private property

Author: Brian T. Hodges Earlier this year, PLF stepped in to help Kipp and Marilyn Dunlap protect themselves against an uncompensated taking of their vacant residential lot in Nooksack, Washington (located just south of the Canadian border).  As you may recall, the Dunlaps purchased a quarter-acre lot with the dream of building their home the ...

October 19, 2010

Non-conforming use designations: “the new black” for bureaucrats?

Author: Brian T. Hodges Regulation for its own sake only leads to more regulation.  Case in point:  Washington State's land use scheme.  The state's Growth Management Act was adopted in 1990 and 1991 to require all local governments to engage in land use planning by requiring them to adopt comprehensive plans and development regul ...

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