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Published on Friday, February 13, 2015

Vesting rights for land use and building permits

The bill to reinstate the common law vested rights doctrine seemed to be stalled out until being scheduled for a hearing on February 17 (SB 5921) in the Senate and February 18 in the House (HB 1394).

AWC has been discussing these bills with municipal attorneys throughout session and our basic position is this: Irrespective of the policy decisions about whether Washington’s very developer-friendly vesting laws are appropriate, these proposals turn over several years of case law and re-insert a great deal of uncertainty into the process. We are willing to have a discussion about which types of permits vest, but are opposed to open ended proposals that further confuse an already confusing area of law.

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