Save Our Rural Environment v. Snohomish County

662 P.2d 816 (1983)

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Save Our Rural Environment v. Snohomish County

Washington Supreme Court
662 P.2d 816 (1983)

LJ

Facts

Save Our Rural Environment (SORE) (plaintiff) was a nonprofit organization established to oppose the rezoning and development of land known as the Soper Hill site located in Snohomish County (defendant) in Washington State. In July 1979, Snohomish County adopted a comprehensive plan designating the Soper Hill site as suburban residential. In August 1979, the Hewlett-Packard Company contacted Snohomish County to request that the comprehensive plan be amended with regard to the Soper Hill site to reflect business-park zoning. The Snohomish County planning commission held a public hearing on the rezoning, and the majority of the commissioners voted against the amendment to the comprehensive plan. The Snohomish County Council then held its own hearings and rejected the planning commission’s recommendation and were favorable to the amendment to the comprehensive plan. In December 1980, Snohomish County approved the comprehensive-plan amendment with the conditions that any business-park user would be required to meet the county’s zoning requirements in addition to satisfactorily controlling drainage, providing buffering of agricultural lands, and resolving any anticipated traffic matters. Hewlett-Packard then filed a preliminary development plan and a rezoning application for the Soper Hill site. The application was presented to a hearing officer, who found the application met all the statutory and local criteria for development and recommended approval. The Snohomish County Council unanimously approved the rezoning of the Soper Hill site. SORE then filed a petition for review of the Snohomish County Council’s decision, alleging that the rezoning of the Soper Hill site constituted illegal spot zoning. The Snohomish County Superior Court found in favor of Snohomish County and upheld the validity of the rezoning. SORE appealed the court’s judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dolliver, J.)

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