Land Use and Natural Resources Law
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 24th, 2022

Whenever real property is co-owned by multiple individuals, disputes are bound to happen. The owners may disagree about how to develop or maintain the property, whether to sell the property, and so on. The rights of each individual and how disputes among them may be settled depend greatly on the kind of tenancy at play,…

June 25th, 2020

The Washington State Supreme Court decision Whatcom County v. Hirst, 186 Wash.2d 648, 381 P.3d 1 (2016) set off years of uncertainty for rural and suburban development in Whatcom County. Most of Whatcom County is in the Nooksack River watershed (“WRIA 1”). You can find out if your property is in WRIA 1 or a…

January 15th, 2020

Chong Yim v. City of Seattle, –Wn.2d–, 451 P.3d 675 (2019), also called Yim I, made headlines for its holding that Seattle’s first-in-time rule, which required landlords to rent to the first qualified applicant, was not facially unconstitutional. But it also made a huge change to Washington regulatory takings law by adopting the federal definition of regulatory takings…

July 24th, 2019

The City of Bellingham’s new short-term rental (“STR”) ordinance became effective on May 5, 2019. BMC 20.10.037. It places restrictions on the rental of rooms, accessory dwelling units, and homes on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The City has created a helpful website describing the new regulations. All owners of STRs will need to obtain…

March 7th, 2019

Can you file a lawsuit against the property owner for your injuries, whether the owner is a public government entity or a private landowner?

February 28th, 2019

All real property conveyances in Washington must be done by written deed. RCW 64.04.010. Deeds often appear simple but are actually densely packed with important information. When conveying real property, we always recommend working with a title company or attorney because even the slightest error can have significant consequences. What are the different kinds of…

February 20th, 2019

A recent court decision is a good reminder of the importance of creating a record and property raising issue during open records appeals of land use and environmental permit decisions.

July 11th, 2018

If you’re considering building an ADU, renting out an ADU, or concerned about a neighbor’s ADU, read this blog for background, then call or visit your city or county’s permit office.

May 19th, 2018

When someone doesn’t like a neighbor’s tree, the first question they have is can they cut it down.

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