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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

Washington Legal Roundup: Supreme Court

Gold Star Resorts, Inc. v. FuturewiseDespite the name, this case has nothing to do with resorts, gold, or stars.  Rather, this case represents another chapter in a longstanding challenge to Whatcom County's comprehensive plan.  Counties planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) must revisit and update their comprehensive plans every seven years.  When the time for update comes, the revised plan must confirm not only to the original GMA, but any and all amendments made thereto in the intervening years.

Whatcom County failed to properly conform its comprehensive plan revisions to a specific GMA amendment dealing with rural development, and so that portion of its comprehensive plan was struck down by the Court.  The GMA allows for something called a "LAMIRD,"  which stands for a limited area of more intense rural development.  LAMIRDS are pre-existing areas of development, such as a rural crossroad, or an industrial cluster, or an existing rural neighborhood.  The LAMIRD provisions accept the reality that these developments dot the landscape,  but instructs counties to plan for their containment within existing "logical boundaries."  Where Whatcom County went astray was in its failure to

consider the statutory LAMIRD criteria when defining its designations for more intensely developed rural areas and . . . attempt to analyze the logical outer boundaries of the areas under RCW 36.70A.070(5)(d).

So, Whatcom County must revise it's comprehensive plan to conform to the LAMIRD provisions in the GMA.

Moreover, the Court applied it's recent holding in Thurston County v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, 164 Wn.2d 329, 190 P.3d 38 (2008) barring "bright-line" density rules to reverse the court of appeals and remand back to board for further consideration.  In brief, a Growth Management Hearings Board is no longer allowed to judge a county's comprehensive plans rural development component by a bright-line density computation.  Here, the Board applied a bright-line of one dwelling unit per five acres to invalidate Whatcom County's rural plan portion.  The standard now is whether the densities placed in the plan were clearly erroneous under the GMA.  Because no determination was made under that standard, the case must be remanded to the board.

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