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January 30th, 2024

Property boundaries play a crucial role in determining ownership and land use. However, situations may arise where property owners find it necessary to adjust their existing boundaries to better suit their needs. A process known as a Boundary Line Adjustment (“BLA”) does just what the name implies. A BLA occurs through a local city or…

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December 25th, 2023

Does your neighbor have a pesky tree that is growing on to your property? Do you wish you could just chop it down and get rid of it? In Washington, to avoid liability for timber trespass, you will want to think carefully before acting. The law differs depending on where the tree is located. Start…

December 7th, 2023

It is exceedingly common for an older parent to add a child to one or more financial accounts. Whether to start helping immediately with managing their day-to-day finances (like staying on top of the bills) or maybe just as precaution against potential future disability or incapacity, they go into their bank or brokerage and request…

November 7th, 2023

By now, those involved in leadership of Public Water Systems in Whatcom County (and throughout Washington) may have heard about two proposed Class Action settlements to resolve claims for PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination in Public Water Systems’ drinking water: one involving DuPont (with a proposed settlement amount of $1.185 billion) and the other…

August 8th, 2023

Property encroachments, defined as an intrusion onto someone else’s real property, happen often. The fence you thought divided your property from your neighbor’s is actually a few feet off from the true property line. Maybe your gravel driveway has migrated over the years and now is partially in your neighbor’s front yard. And nothing quite…

May 30th, 2023

Back in the 2021-2022 legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed ESSB 5096 (now codified at RCW 82.87), commonly known as the Washington State capital gains tax. This bill created a 7% tax on the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets such as stocks, bonds, business interests, or other investments and tangible assets. Challenges…

April 28th, 2023

On March 13, 2023, the Bellingham City Council approved Ordinance No. 2023-03-007, which requires landlords to provide tenants of rental units in Bellingham a minimum of 120 days’ prior written notice ahead of ANY increase in rent or other periodic housing costs. The requirements of this new ordinance took effect on March 28, 2023, and…

February 28th, 2023

As you may recall from my prior blog posts, the Washington State Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) recommended adjudication of the Nooksack River watershed (also called WRIA 1) in September 2020 and received funding for the adjudication in the 2021-2023 biannual budget. More information is available at Ecology’s WRIA 1 adjudication website. Pending further funding, the…

February 3rd, 2023

A significant amendment to Washington’s Equal Pay and Opportunities Act requiring most employers to include pay ranges, benefits, and other forms of compensation in job listings came into effect on January 1, 2023.[1] As we discussed here several months ago, these requirements represent a major change from the previous version of the law, which only…

January 9th, 2023

Both Washington State and federal law protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination, including discrimination that may result from municipal zoning ordinances. Because the scope of the protections afforded under state and federal law differ, it is possible for a zoning action to comply with one while violating the other. As a result, it is important…

November 7th, 2022

Whether you live in Skagit, Whatcom, or San Juan County, here in the Pacific Northwest chances are there are trees in your yard, your neighbor’s yard, or a family member’s yard, and there may be no fence separating one property from the next. There is also a good possibility there has not been a recent…

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