21Nov
2014

Ridgefield’s Emergency Ordinance

The City of Ridgefield passed this emergency ordinance last night placing a moratorium on multi-family residential. The moratorium stems from ambiguities in their code related to density transfer and buffering between low density residential. The City must hold a hearing within sixty days of the ordinance passing and one has been scheduled for January 8, 2015 at 6:30.

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20Nov
2014

Can I Get A Mulligan? UPDATE 11/20/14

UPDATE: The Washington Supreme Court just issued an opinion today on this case check back tomorrow for the analysis. A very fascinating case just announced on Valentine’s Day by Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals denied “a mulligan” to a group of property owners seeking to keep open a golf course located adjacent to their homes.  In Riverview Community Group v. Spencer and Livingston, et al.,  a group of property owners sought an equitable servitude from the court to require the developer (and […]

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November 7, 2014

Washington Water and NPDES Permit

A coalition of environmental groups is suing the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council for reissuing water permits to the state’s only nuclear power plant.  The permits allow withdrawal of water from the Columbia River for cooling the reactor, and allow a small portion of that water to be discharged back into the river following use. The permits are renewed every five years, and the environmental groups argue the water withdrawals harm fish and the discharges cause pollution that violates […]

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November 4, 2014

Siting the 2016 Street of Dreams

Portland developer Dennis Pahlisch believes south Hillsboro is a smart location for new executive housing .  The 1,400-acre area near Hillsboro’s leading employers is slated for 25,000 residents, The City, however, does not see a clear path to financing the infrastructure, and is hesitant to approve development until funding is lined up for major roads.  Pahlisch thinks building the Street of Dreams would be a terrific way to generate interest in this undeveloped area, and it isn’t necessary to postpone […]

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October 21, 2014

Feds to Loosen Mortgage Rules

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks, which control the vast majority of home loans.  The private lenders that fund individual home mortgages bundle those mortgages into securities that are sold to the government sponsored enterprises (GSE’s) and subject to FHFA rules. In response to the housing bust, the FHFA tightened eligibility rules, which increased the risks of private lenders, and compelled them to buy back bad mortgages.  Now […]

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October 9, 2014

HB 2254

This 2013 law mandates “simplified” methods for expansion of urban growth boundaries outside Metro in order to lighten the burden on cities and counties. A committee largely comprised of representatives and staff from state and local government entities and land use lawyers was created to write the new rules. The last year has been spent struggling to create simple rules without sacrificing accuracy when projecting residential land needs and counting the available acreage to meet those needs. Thus far, the […]

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September 18, 2014

Washington Shoreline Projects Just Got Riskier

The Washington Court of Appeals recently decided that Shoreline Development Permits, required for development projects along the Columbia River and most other waterfronts, do not enjoy the same protection against changing regulations as subdivisions. A developer applied for approval of a mixed use project with 143 residential units consistent with the zoning, where a small portion of the site is waterfront. Neighbors opposed the density. The City of Kirkland got cold feet, imposed a moratorium on all development in the […]

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September 11, 2014

Survey Supports Housing Choice

For many years, the State of Oregon and Metro have enforced laws compelling local governments to reduce the size of single-family lots and increase the percentage of multifamily housing.  Many local governments and housing industry groups routinely say there isn’t enough demand for the housing types the state and Metro require, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.   Now a comprehensive survey jointly sponsored by Metro, local governments, and industry groups proves what the local governments and industry […]

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August 25, 2014

Who is in Charge of that Signal? – Update

In March, the Land Use Board of Appeals (“LUBA”) decided that Washington County could not unilaterally remove a traffic signal from Tualatin Sherwood Road without regard for the City of Sherwood or the adjacent retail property owners. LUBA had sent the case back to Washington County with instructions to sort out the particular relationship between the County and the City, which was not well documented. Washington County appealed to the Court of Appeals, which just agreed with LUBA on all […]

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August 12, 2014

National Association of Home Builders Update

The National Association of Home Builders just released a report indicating that for every $1,000 increase in the price of a home it chases away 206,000 people from the market.  The analysis essentially found that for every $833 paid in fees (impact, building permit, other regulatory fees) that it increased the price of a home about $1,000.  This reflects the money that it takes to borrow to pay those fees. The full report has loads of interesting data including the […]

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Feds to Loosen Mortgage Rules

October 21, 2014 0 comments

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks, which control the vast majority of home loans.  The private lenders that fund individual home mortgages bundle those mortgages into securities that are sold to the government sponsored enterprises (GSE’s) and subject to FHFA rules. In response to the housing bust, the FHFA tightened eligibility rules, which increased the risks of private lenders, and compelled them to buy back bad mortgages.  Now […]

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Municipal Stormwater Permit & Manual Modifications

August 7, 2014 0 comments

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) announced August 6, 2014, it’s  modifications to the Phase I and Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit and Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (SWWMM).  These modifications resulted in part from challenges raised by Phase I and Phase II permittees and the Building Industry Association of Clark County. A summary of the modifications can be found here. Ecology will be accepting written comments on the changes until midnight on October 6, 2014.  A series […]

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Municipal Stormwater Permit & Manual Modifications

August 7, 2014 0 comments

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) announced August 6, 2014, it’s  modifications to the Phase I and Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit and Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (SWWMM).  These modifications resulted in part from challenges raised by Phase I and Phase II permittees and the Building Industry Association of Clark County. A summary of the modifications can be found here. Ecology will be accepting written comments on the changes until midnight on October 6, 2014.  A series […]

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Can I Get A Mulligan? UPDATE 11/20/14

November 20, 2014 0 comments

UPDATE: The Washington Supreme Court just issued an opinion today on this case check back tomorrow for the analysis. A very fascinating case just announced on Valentine’s Day by Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals denied “a mulligan” to a group of property owners seeking to keep open a golf course located adjacent to their homes.  In Riverview Community Group v. Spencer and Livingston, et al.,  a group of property owners sought an equitable servitude from the court to require the developer (and […]

Continue Reading →