Q: Would a current Land Patent from 1865, supersede the 1969 Clark, WA, code regulation regarding land use in a flood way ?

I have 2.5 acre along the Lewis River, I have mineral rights and an updated Land Patent from the Oregon Land Grant act.

A structure was built in 1968, one year before Clark County WA code development existed. The structure was removed in October 1997, because of a flood caused by the 3 dams north on the Lewis River in 1996. In 1997 a flood map was created, because of flood in Woodland WA. 90,000 Cubic ft per second was released as opposed to the average 4,000 Cubic ft per second, by the 3 Lewis River dams.

2012 the flood map was again updated and each map had converted portions of my property into flood way zone and undevelope-able under code. Even though portions of my property had not flooded. I wanted to develop a structure on stilts or raise the elevation, but WA state does not allow the development in a flood way. I have an updated Land Patent that was a originally issued in 1865, Who has the authority over the land use on my property? Me with the patent, or the state?

1 Lawyer Answer
Walker Weitzel
Walker Weitzel
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: A land patent is the highest proof of title over land. It is extremely authoritative. With that said, the laws of the jurisdiction will dictate your ability to use and develop the property. Ownership is only a piece of the puzzle. Your rights to improve the property are still subject to Oregon law.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.