Michael Spence

Buyer Beware is Still the Law of the Land

Land Use, Real Estate

Washington’s Seller Disclosure Statute, RCW 64.06, originally passed in 1994, required Sellers of real property to disclose “material defects” on a Seller Disclosure Statement, which quickly became known as a “Form 17”.  A special provision of RCW 64.06 provides that the statutory obligation to disclose material defects is independent of the common law principle of […]


David Tran

New Legislation Reducing Liability for Condominium Defects Takes Effect

Land Use, Real Estate

With concerns over affordable housing being a driving force, Senate Bill 5334 was passed earlier this year and just recently took effect. This new legislation has been celebrated by affordable housing proponents, developers, and homebuyers alike as it is expected to spur increased infill development, consistent with the Growth Management Act and local Comprehensive Plans. […]


Samuel Winninghoff

Seattle City Council Considering Legislation Restricting Single-Family Home Development

Land Use, Real Estate

The Seattle City Council is considering legislation introduced by Councilmember Mike O’Brien intended to increase the availability of affordable housing in Seattle. The proposal, which largely seeks to expand the amount of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) available in order to increase affordable housing inventory and options, would also impose new regulations on the allowable floor […]


Samuel Winninghoff

Mandatory Housing Affordability Legislation Passed by Seattle City Council and Signed by Mayor Durkan

Land Use, Real Estate

On Monday, March 18, 2019, the Seattle City Council passed and adopted legislation which brings widespread zoning changes to 27 designated areas in the city. Mayor Durkan signed the legislation on March 20 and the bill will take effect on April 19. The new zoning updates are designed to increase housing density and affordability in neighborhoods […]


Hearing Examiner Issues Decision in Favor of the City of Seattle Regarding Mandatory Housing Affordability

Land Use, Real Estate

On Monday, January 7, 2019, the Seattle City Council (“City Council”) began debating a proposed legislation that would allow for construction of larger buildings and the imposition of mandatory affordable housing requirements in twenty-seven (27) neighborhoods and commercial corridors throughout the City of Seattle (the “City”), including Wallingford, Fremont, Beacon Hill, Ravenna, and West Seattle […]


Brandon Gribben

Seattle Hearing Examiner Rules Against the City’s Proposed Legislation to Allow Construction of More Backyard Cottages and Mother-in-Law Apartments in Single Family Zones

Land Use, Real Estate

On December 13, 2016, the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner ruled that the City of Seattle must perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before moving forward with proposed legislation that would ease restrictions on the construction of accessory dwelling units and detached accessory dwelling units.  Accessory dwelling units, commonly referred to as ADUs or mother-in-law apartments, […]


US Supreme Court Limits Local Government Land Use "Extortion"

Environmental, Land Use

On June 25, the United States Supreme Court announced an important decision on the ability of local governments to extract environmental (and presumably other) mitigations from private developers seeking land use entitlements. The case, known as Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District, severely limits this practice.


Legislature Update: Land Use

Land Use, Real Estate

The 2013 Washington State Legislature wrestled with an 800 pound gorilla – education funding – and adjourned without reaching consensus on that issue. But in the process, several new laws passed that are relevant to those who are in land use or real estate.