Primary Attorney Contact(s): T. Ryan Durkan
and Stephen H. Roos
STREAMLINING THE CHALLENGES FACING DEVELOPERS AND PROPERTY OWNERS IN PERMITTING AND CONSTRUCTION.
Put simply, we specialize in land use permits and entitlements. Our attorneys provide creative advice to help you develop the appropriate environmental review and permitting strategy at the outset of your project. We also enjoy extraordinary success in obtaining the necessary permits and entitlements. Nothing pleases us more than hearing from clients that we have achieved what they felt no one else could accomplish for them. And we receive those compliments frequently.
There is a real difference in the way we work. We are able to advocate forcefully for our clients' positions, but we do so in a way that preserves our excellent reputation and working relationships with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies in Washington. In fact, when you hire HCMP to address your land use matters, you get the considerable benefits of our reputation and the relationships we have built. Maintaining respect and trust is what it's all about.
We have extensive experience in helping prepare and process development proposals for vacant property, as well as proposals for expansion or renovation of developed sites. We have particular experience with all types of shoreline projects, permits for in-water work, and advising clients on Endangered Species Act compliance.
Large-scale residential and commercial projects. Our firm has been involved in many of the major real estate developments in Washington during the last four decades, including large-scale residential and commercial development projects. For example, we have represented the following private entities in obtaining permits and entitlements.
- Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company and The Quadrant Corporation in City of Snoqualmie and State agency approval for annexation of about 2,000 acres; permits, approvals, and financing agreements for major roadways and new water, stormwater, and wastewater treatment systems with state of the art reclaimed water component; and land division and construction permit approvals for development of the Snoqualmie Ridge master planned community.
- MountainStar Resort Development, LLC in its development of the 6,217-acre Suncadia master planned resort and the 1,100-acre Cle Elum Urban Growth Area property in Kittitas County, which include land use matters, regional infrastructure improvements, community governance, and City and County permits.
- Seattle Mariners in the site selection and permitting of Safeco Field.
- Seattle Housing Authority in the redevelopment of the Yesler Terrace site with affordable housing and other uses.
- Washington Mutual in obtaining entitlements for the Washington Mutual - Seattle Art Museum project. The Seattle Land Use Code needed to be amended to allow this unique partnership to occur. The amendments were approved unanimously by the City Council, and all permits and approvals were obtained on an ambitious schedule.
- Seattle Art Museum. We represented the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in connection with land use matters relating to SAM's Olympic Sculpture park, which transformed a seven-acre site in the heart of the city into a public open space exhibiting outdoor sculpture. The project involved transfer of development rights (TDRs), as well as other unique land use considerations.
- Weyerhaeuser Company in the annexation and development of its corporate headquarters site.
- The Quadrant Corporation in its three master plan developments in the Bear Creek/Novelty Hill area in King County east of Redmond, as well as Snoqualmie Ridge Phase II, the Quadrant Business Park and Quadrant Monte Villa Business Park in Bothell, and numerous residential and mixed-use projects in Seattle and King County.
- Pine Street Associates in obtaining necessary permits for the redevelopment of three blocks in the downtown Seattle retail core.
- Samis Land Company in development of the 1521 Second Avenue residential tower. This was the first tower built under the Downtown Land Use Code provisions that were significantly revised in 2006. This project allowed us to "test" the new regulations in draft form so that we could suggest improvements to City staff -- many of which were accepted into the new Code. Since that time, we have helped developers obtain permits for about a dozen new office and residential towers in downtown Seattle. We are adept at applying the very complicated provisions of the Downtown Code, including requirements to obtain bonused space, and acquisition/sale of Transferable Development Rights.
- Mitsubishi International Corporation as regional counsel for real estate investment and development decisions.
- PACCAR, Inc. in environmental review and permitting for its Kenworth Truck manufacturing facility in Renton, including permits for remediation of contaminated soils on an 80-acre site.
- Nitze-Stagen & Company. Our firm has represented Nitze-Stagen & Company (NSCO) in connection with several Seattle area developments. We successfully obtained all of the approvals for the Union Station Planned Community Development, a 1.1 million square foot office development that includes offices for a number of Seattle's premier high-tech ventures. We represented NSCO in connection with the renovation of a large warehouse building to serve as Starbucks' headquarters in Seattle. We have also assisted NSCO in connection with the development of a premier high-rise residential tower sponsored by the Frye Art Museum.
- Cal-Portland Company (formerly Glacier Northwest). Our firm represents CalPortland Company, the region's largest sand and gravel producer, in connection with its real estate, land use, and environmental matters. We successfully obtained all federal and state permits for a barging transshipment facility in DuPont, Washington. The project involved city council hearings, Shorelines Hearings Board appeals, Superior Court appeals, and successful negotiation of a settlement with environmental groups and the State Department of Ecology.
- Triad Development. We represented Triad Development in connection with several Seattle area office developments, including the renovation of Pier 70 and a rezone for mixed use residential development in the North Lake Union area of Seattle. The full-block Civic Square project in downtown Seattle is another Triad-related project, involving Land Use Code changes, design review, and permits.
But you don't have to be big to seek our help. Although these examples stress the "big" projects we work on, we also readily apply our expertise to other types of projects. Individual homeowners, small and medium-sized residential and commercial developers, specialized entities, and community groups all rely on us for help.
Because of the depth of our experience, we are able to participate cost-effectively in solving legal issues on all types of projects.
Public projects. The experience we bring to private residential and commercial projects also enables us to represent governmental agencies in their land use matters. Our extensive experience and successes are described in Government Representation.
Other services. In addition to work on specific projects, we provide the following services to private clients, where applicable:
- Ordinance and legislation drafting
- Consensus building and conflict resolution, including interjurisdictional agreements
- Land use appeals and litigation
Our firm's ability to make productive contributions to our clients' long-range land use planning efforts is also enhanced by our excellent working relationships with numerous consultants with specialties in wetlands and sensitive areas, hydrology and fisheries, geology and structural engineering, and transportation impact analysis. We are an extension of your organization and team.
Others frequently use us as a resource. Attorneys in our firm have written and lectured extensively on legal issues associated with land use and development. Members of the firm have authored sections of Bar Association "deskbooks" relied upon by city and county land use planners and attorneys. Several of our land use attorneys have also been selected by state and local officials to advise them on changes to land use and environmental regulations.
The expertise of our paralegals is essential to our success. In addition to the services of our attorneys, we make extensive use of paralegals who specialize in submitting and monitoring permit applications, and getting them issued. Our paralegals understand the local permit process inside and out. Because of our firm's reputation, and the skill of our staff, our paralegals offer clients unique permit monitoring and expediting services.
See also Feasibility Analysis & Strategic Planning, Real Estate Transactions, and Environmental.