Posted by: Patricia Salkin | May 26, 2016

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Washington’s Land Use Petition Act Did Not Provide a Cognizable Property Interest in Lot Boundary Adjustment Case

Appellant Neighbors For Notice LLC challenged the district court’s dismissal of its complaint alleging that Appellee City of Seattle Department of Planning & Development violated Neighbors’ due process rights when it approved a lot boundary adjustment without public notice. Neighbors contended that it had a protected property interest in challenging the Department’s land-use decision pursuant to Washington’s Land Use Petition Act (LUPA), which was a single-family zoning ordinance limiting minimum lot sizes to 5,000 square feet.

The court found that according to the Washington Supreme Court, the LUPA was enacted “to reform the process for judicial review of land use decisions made by local jurisdictions, by establishing uniform, expedited appeal procedures and uniform criteria for reviewing such decisions, in order to provide consistent, predictable, and timely judicial review.” Accordingly, this procedural-process purpose did not create a substantive property interest entitled to constitutional protection. The court therefore held that the district court properly dismissed Neighbors’ LUPA claim on the basis that LUPA did not provide a cognizable property interest in these circumstances.

Neighbors for Notice LLC v. City of Seattle, 2016 WL 2754536(9th Circ. CA 5/12/2016)

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