21Oct
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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9Oct
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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August 7, 2014

Municipal Stormwater Permit & Manual Modifications

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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August 1, 2014

Letters of Intent: Let me be perfectly clear…

By Attorney and Shareholder Robert Koury The economy’s emerging recovery is causing many businesses to increase the pace of their transactions. In the race to show good faith and serious intent to proceed with deals (including, but not limited to, the sale or lease of real estate or business assets), parties are moving quickly through the process of memorializing the terms of their proposed business arrangement—the negotiation of a “letter of intent,” “memorandum of understanding,” or similar agreement. A letter […]

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July 23, 2014

Oregon Filled Lands Advisory Group

The Oregon Filled Lands Advisory Group (FLAG) recently presented draft recommendations for changing how the state asserts ownership of submerged and submersible land.  Before 1963, there were no regulations on filling of waterfront lands. Many underwater and low lying areas became what we now call historically filled lands were filled with dredged materials leftover from creation and maintenance of navigation channels, (ever notice that Swan Island is no longer an island?). Generally, the state owns the submerged and submersible lands […]

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July 11, 2014

Considerations for a New Development Era

Attorney James Howsley presented to the Clark County Association of Realtors on, “The Big Picture: Considerations for a New Development Era.” Here are the three key points from his presentation: 1) The Good-  Housing is back, and the amount of overbuilt homes during the peak were overtaken by demand in 2010. If the household formation occurs, as it is anticipated to, there will be a demand for a good length in time. 2) The Bad- There are simply not enough […]

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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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Letters of Intent: Let me be perfectly clear…

August 1, 2014 0 comments

By Attorney and Shareholder Robert Koury The economy’s emerging recovery is causing many businesses to increase the pace of their transactions. In the race to show good faith and serious intent to proceed with deals (including, but not limited to, the sale or lease of real estate or business assets), parties are moving quickly through the process of memorializing the terms of their proposed business arrangement—the negotiation of a “letter of intent,” “memorandum of understanding,” or similar agreement. A letter […]

Continue Reading →