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Washington Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
Q: If i have a lot of money can i just buy a huge land like 100acre and do anything on it private house,horses US,Washingto
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Feb 22, 2024

A Washington real estate/land use attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for four weeks. You could enjoy many activities on 100 acres of land. But you'd still need to comply with environmental, zoning, public health, and other public rules and regulations, as well as not... View More

Q: What can I do about a neighbor wearing a gun, coming to the property line and telling me what I can't do on our property

Neighbor wearing gun says blackberries and trees on our property can't be cut. We can't even cut branches overhanging our driveway. Happens both 3 and 30 ft away from property line. He said the drain ditch that traverses both properties will collapse and it's protected. The nearest... View More

Cristine Beckwith
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Cristine Beckwith
answered on Nov 2, 2023

Sorry to hear. A civil anti-harassment protection order is a common remedy for a neighbor dispute involving unwanted and threatening contact. A good attorney will give you the best chance of getting the order issued.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Washington on
Q: I have a house that got built for a hundred years ago. The house got built right on the property with the roof eaves

The roof eaves on one side of the property is over to my neighbor property. Will I run into any issues with this? Thanks

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Sep 6, 2023

Has a survey been performed? If not, how do you know you are encroaching? There may be subdivision restrictions of government codes with minimum setback requirements. If the adjoining owner complains, boundary line agreement might help. Obviously an acquiescence to the boundary has... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Washington on
Q: What was the U.S. Supreme Court case ruling that ownership of two adjacent properties cannot be considered one property?

Adjacent properties owned by one owner must still be considered two separate properties rather than one.

Thank you.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Aug 23, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court case you are referring to is likely **Murr v. Wisconsin**, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). In this case, the Court addressed the issue of whether adjacent properties owned by the same owner should be considered as one unit for regulatory purposes. The Court established a test known as... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Washington on
Q: Who's responsible to survey property before building fences. Contractor or home owner?

My neighbor had a contractor build a fence on our property line and says it's not his fault if it's on my property. Says he did not need to survey because the contractor is licensed and bonded and can't break the law. I hired a surveyor and proved the fence is on my property and now... View More

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden
answered on Mar 27, 2023

The property owner is ultimately liable for their fence and where it was placed. They may have a claim against the contractor if the contractor was supposed to verify the boundary, but I have never seen a fence contractor take responsibility for the survey or location.

There are a lot of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Washington on
Q: We recently bought land and the neighbor thinks he owns part of the land even though he doesn't, we had it surveyed

he insists on it being his and is threatening us with legal action and calling the cops saying we're trespassing.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 5, 2022

Hire a very competent WA attorney to file a Boundary Line Action, Quiet Title, Ejectment, etc. Time may be critical because of Acquiesence to a physical boundary.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Washington on
Q: If your neighbor logs on your land, do you sue the land owner or the logger, and which law backs that up?

Our neighbor is suing us for cutting down trees on "his" land, which is actually our land. (He is also suing us for a 30 x 330 ft portion of our land by claiming squatters rights as well as emotional damage etc. Its a disaster.) But I thought that if someone cut down trees on your land... View More

David C. Smith
David C. Smith
answered on Sep 7, 2021

Generally, both the land owner and the logger can be held liable under the described circumstances. The issue, however is complex in your case because there is a dispute with your neighbor regarding who is claiming ownership of the property where the trees are located. But, to answer your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Domestic Violence, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Washington on
Q: My ex fiance and I signed a year lease in October he got worse with angry issues & verbal/emotional abuse. I need off.

What can I do to get off lease without penalties?

Ali Shahrestani,
Ali Shahrestani,
answered on Dec 24, 2018

While you may be held liable for your duties under the lease, if you leave the home to protect yourself from actual domestic violence, and if your ex doesn't pay the lease in full and on time, your landlord might pursue both of you in court for breach of contract and any owed monies (or your... View More

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... View More

Walker Weitzel
Walker Weitzel
answered on Apr 25, 2017

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Washington on
Q: Can my neighbor claim adverse possession to 6 in of land inside my property line, but on the outside of a fence I built?

The fence has been standing for ten years in the state of Washington. The fence was put up by my family, so they did not actively seek to take the land from us. We want to move the fence over by 4 inches to accommodate the new home we built. They are claiming adverse possession. They have not... View More

Marjorie Simmons
Marjorie Simmons
answered on Sep 13, 2016

The state law governing adverse possession is at RCW 7.38 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.28&full=true). Generally, to make such a claim they must have been actually possessing the land in an open, notorious fashion, in good faith, under a claim of right for a period of 7 years,... View More

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