Primary Attorney Contact(s): George A. Kresovich
and Richard R. Wilson
In addition to our general Litigation Group practice, many of the attorneys in Real Estate & Land Use use their special expertise in related litigation matters. Such litigation takes place at all levels of state and federal courts, and before local hearing examiners and state administrative bodies such as the Shorelines Hearings Board, Pollution Control Hearings Board, and Growth Management Hearings Board.
We have earned a reputation for advancing our clients' interests within the framework of successful, cost-effective, carefully documented transactions. In instances where we become involved after a dispute has arisen or where litigation cannot be avoided, we offer our broad experience in real estate litigation at both the trial and appellate levels, including condemnation and takings cases, specific performance and damages actions under purchase and sale agreements, lease disputes, foreclosure workouts, and environmental damages and contribution actions.
HCMP has litigated and won many of the significant Washington court cases involving the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), the Shoreline Management Act, vested rights, subdivision regulation, regulatory takings, zoning, annexation, and standing to sue. Here is a representative sample of subject areas and cases:
- Comprehensive Planning and GMA. We have extensive experience in disputes involving comprehensive plans and Growth Management Act issues. We represented Pierce County, Snohomish County, Clallam County, and the City of Blaine in appeals of their comprehensive plans to the Growth Management Hearings Boards and to Superior Court.
- Land Use Petition Act. One of our lawyers (Melody B. McCutcheon) served on the committee that drafted the State's Land Use Petition Act (the statute that sets the standards for appeals of local permit decisions), and we have extensive experience litigating land use petitions at all state court levels.
- SEPA Litigation. We have successfully litigated a number of the leading cases that set the standards for construing SEPA.
- Eminent Domain and "Takings" Litigation. HCMP has successfully represented the landowner in two Washington State Supreme Court cases, and as a result, we are consulted by other attorneys representing property owners with potential "takings" claims. We also represent clients in eminent domain cases. For example, we have represented property owners involving the Washington State Department of Transportation, Sound Transit, and the Monorail Authority.
- CalPortland Company (formerly Glacier Northwest ). We represented them in a case involving the attempted condemnation of 230 acres of property on Puget Sound. As a result of our efforts, the condemnation action was dismissed. Following dismissal of the lawsuit, we successfully negotiated with Pierce County for the sale of the entire 600-acre parcel on terms favorable to our client.
- Nextel. We represent Nextel in appeals of the siting of cell towers, utilizing our experience in proceedings both before elected officials acting as appellate bodies and before courts and hearing examiners.
- Quadrant. We represent Quadrant in a variety of matters, including the three large master planned developments called Redmond Ridge, Trilogy at Redmond Ridge, and Redmond Ridge East. King County v. Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Bd., 90 Wn. App. 1 (1998), reversed in part, 138 Wn.2d 161 (1999). The Quadrant Corporation v. Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board, 154 Wn.2d 224 (2005).
- Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company. We represented Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company in connection with land use matters on the Snoqualmie Ridge development, a planned development on over 2,000 acres. Friends of Snoqualmie Valley v. King County Boundary Review Bd., 118 Wn.2d 488 (1992).
- Local Government Authority. HCMP attorneys George Kresovich and Joe Genster stepped in to assist Pierce County after a superior court decision had gone against the County. The Supreme Court reversed the superior court and held that a local government has the authority to revoke a plat approval, even though the platting statute does not explicitly give them that authority. This is a landmark case for local government. HJS Development, Inc. v. Pierce County, 148 Wn.2d 451 (2003).