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Barrie v. Kitsap County

ELR Citation: 10 ELR 20791
Nos. No. 45787, 613 P.2d 1148/93 Wash. 2d 843, (Wash., 07/10/1980)

The court holds that an environmental impact statement (EIS) concerning a proposed shopping center violates the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) by failing to adequately discuss the alternatives to and the socioeconomic effects of the action. Plaintiffs sought judicial review of a county's rezoning of defendants' property from residential to business and a city's simultaneous adoption of a comprehensive plan and zoning of the same property on which defendants intend to develop a shopping center. First, the court rules that under the Planning Enabling Act a county zoning ordinance need not conform precisely with the comprehensive plan since the plan is meant only as a guide to adoption of zoning regulations. The county's rezoning generally conforms with the comprehensive plan; thus it was not arbitrary and capricious.Second, the city's simultaneous adoption of a pre-annexation comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance was not arbitrary and capricious. Third, the court finds that SEPA applies to the actions of both the city and the county since they are major actions significantly affecting the quality of the environment. The county's EIS violates SEPA by discussing alternative uses of defendants' property instead of adequately discussing alternative sites for the proposed shopping center. The court rejects defendants' argument that the proposed center is a private project not subject to SEPA. The county's action in amending the plan and the rezoning will result in the construction of a shopping center, which must be discussed in the EIS. However, the court rules that the discussion of alternative sites in the city's EIS is sufficient since the city's plan and zoning do not limit the use of the site to a shopping center. Finally, the court holds that the county's EIS violates SEPA by failing to discuss adequately the experts' opposing views on the socioeconomic impact of the proposed shopping center on the central business district. The city's EIS, although somewhat deficient, is adequate under the "rule of reason." The court thus invalidates the county's rezoning ordinance but upholds the city's pre-annexation comprehensive plan and zoning.

Counsel for Appellants
Derrill T. Bastian, David F. Jurca, Donald C. Harrison
Helsell, Fetterman, Martin, Todd & Hokanson
P.O. Box 21846, Seattle WA 98111
(206) 292-1144

Counsel for Respondents
C. Danny Clem, Kitsap Cty. Prosecuting Attorney; W. Daniel Phillips, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
614 Division St., Port Orchard WA 98366
(206) 876-7174

Thomas C. O'Hare
Smith, Redman & O'Hare
Central Kitsap Mall, P.O. Box 68, Silverdale WA 98383
(206) 692-5566

Gary H. Sexton
Walgren, Sexton & McCluskey
510 Washington Ave., Bremerton WA 98310
(206) 377-5566

Richard R. Wilson
Hillis, Phillips, Cairncross, Clark & Martin
403 Columbia St., Seattle WA 98104
(206) 623-1745