23Jul
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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11Jul
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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July 7, 2014

Would Washington Benefit from a New Statutory Takings Initiative Given Oregon’s Experience?

James Howsley presented in Seattle on this topic. Here are the three key points to take away: 1) A cumbersome land use system can lead to initiatives such as Measure 7 and Measure 37. 2) Washinton has not had an experience long enough with it’s Growth Management Act and other land use controls for a takings initiative to be successful. 3) However, Washington maintains stricter land use regulations dealing with environmental issues such as stormwater and critical areas, which could […]

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July 1, 2014

State Issues Update

The Department of Revenue released a draft rule that we commented on, along with BIAW (Building Industry Association of Washington) and others, that would seemingly charge BIA B&O taxes on the Parade of Homes and other events offered to the public. We will again be submitting comments to try to change the rule. On Tuesday, May 27th, the Washington Supreme Court heard arguments in a citizen suit filed against BIAW during the 2008 governor’s race. The issue is whether BIAW […]

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June 20, 2014

Local Government Update: Clark County

The County is moving forward with several projects. First comments were due last month on the draft stormwater code and new stormwater manual. The BIA submitted several comments and have met with staff to address our concerns, especially those related to the modifications that resulted from the Phase I stormwater appeal. Recently, several developer and builder members expressed concerns in regard to the speed of the final plat process. The GAC engaged the County through DEAB to address the process […]

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June 13, 2014

WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THAT SIGNAL?

Large retail developments demand signalized access because it provides full turning movements into and out of the site. Land use approvals often require developments to build signalized intersections, which occurred in Sherwood about 20 years ago with the Sherwood Market Center and the Sherwood Cinema Center, located on opposite sides of the Tualatin Sherwood Road where it intersects with Highway 99W. Neither property has access to Highway 99W, and thus both rely on the signalized intersection – which they built […]

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June 5, 2014

HB 4078 A Grand Bargain for Some; Years More Work for Others

By Attorney James D. Howsley and Land Use Planner/Paralegal Joseph S. Schaefer House Bill 4078, which was signed by the governor on April 1, 2014, provides urban growth certainty and opportunity for Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Cornelius, and those communities can charge forward with detailed planning and development after years of broad brush planning and litigation. These three communities glimmer in success, along with the justly lauded Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, who orchestrated the negotiations. But while the bill decided […]

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May 30, 2014

Lessons from Legislators

The biggest news this month in the government affairs arena revolves around the April 16 legislative luncheon sponsored by the Building Industry Group PAC and the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.  At this event, Senators Benton, Cleveland, and Rivers, and Representatives Orcutt, Vick, Pike, and Harris gave their impressions of the 2014 legislative session.  From their perspective the divided chambers are working, but they recognize some serious challenges coming next year including; transportation, education, and regulatory reform.  We thank them […]

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May 22, 2014

Milwaukie Sewer Backup

Sewer operators often use pressurized water to clean their mains, and on rare occasions this causes messy sewer backups into adjacent homes.  One such unfortunate homeowner argued that the backup was a taking of her property that required just compensation.  In a May 8 decision, the Oregon Supreme Court decided that the sewer backup was not a taking, because the government did not intend the backup, nor was it a natural and ordinary consequence of cleaning the sewer with pressurized […]

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May 14, 2014

Policy Change at Federal Housing Finance Agency

The head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which supervises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced new policies to reinvigorate the two huge residential lenders. Mr. Watt described four strategic goals: Maintain core operations, including multifamily and affordable housing Increase private mortgage lending to scale back taxpayer risk exposure Create a common platform for securitizing single family loans Ensure market liquidity until new housing finance legislation The goal of increasing private participation in mortgage lending is often discussed, yet the […]

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Beware! Builders Targeted by Patent Trolling Company

February 19, 2014 0 comments

Last week, several Portland/Vancouver Metropolitan area home builders received a demand letter from Savannah IP, Inc (“Savannah”) asserting patent rights over certain commonly used moisture removal processes.  The letter references what appears to be a validly issued patent number (Patent No. 8,567,688, linked here at http://www.google.com/patents/US8567688) and bombards the recipient with a number of requests, including a ten day response deadline, the signing of a very overbearing patent license, and, of course, payment for the privilege of using the license. Savannah appears […]

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Local Government Update: Clark County

June 20, 2014 0 comments

The County is moving forward with several projects. First comments were due last month on the draft stormwater code and new stormwater manual. The BIA submitted several comments and have met with staff to address our concerns, especially those related to the modifications that resulted from the Phase I stormwater appeal. Recently, several developer and builder members expressed concerns in regard to the speed of the final plat process. The GAC engaged the County through DEAB to address the process […]

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A Little Relief from the Storm(water)

April 13, 2012 0 comments

Washington’s legislature finally adjourned early Wednesday morning.  With the passage of the budget came a bill critically important to local jurisdictions and the business community.  Senate Bill 6406 passed both houses and it has been delivered to Governor Gregoire for signature. As this is a lengthy bill that does many things, it warrants more than one post.  What is critically important in this post is to note what the law does for the requirements of the forthcoming NPDES municipal stormwater […]

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Would Washington Benefit from a New Statutory Takings Initiative Given Oregon’s Experience?

July 7, 2014 0 comments

James Howsley presented in Seattle on this topic. Here are the three key points to take away: 1) A cumbersome land use system can lead to initiatives such as Measure 7 and Measure 37. 2) Washinton has not had an experience long enough with it’s Growth Management Act and other land use controls for a takings initiative to be successful. 3) However, Washington maintains stricter land use regulations dealing with environmental issues such as stormwater and critical areas, which could […]

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