Another court ruling moves YarrowBay's Black Diamond developments closer to groundbreaking

In the most recent ruling regarding developer YarrowBay's master planned communities in Black Diamond, the King County Superior Court has denied a Land Use Petition Act appeal filed by project opponents.

The court's action affirms the Master Planned Development (MPD) Permits approved by the Black Diamond City Council in 2010 for The Villages and Lawson Hills MPDs.

In his ruling against Toward Responsible Development (TRD), Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi said that TRD's petition failed to meet required state code for granting relief and "is dismissed with prejudice."

The decision also affirms the Hearing Examiner's decision that the final environmental impact statement findings for The Villages and Lawson Hills MPDs are legally adequate.

"This ruling by King County Superior Court is further proof that we have been involved in an open, deliberate approach in partnering with the City of Black Diamond to follow the code every step of the way," said Brian Ross, YarrowBay's chief executive officer. "We remain committed to upholding the City's vision for economic vitality and smart, thoughtful, environmentally sensitive growth that preserves the community's rural character."

The decision is another milestone in a series of cases involving YarrowBay dating back to late last year. In December, the state Court of Appeals corrected and reversed the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) because the Board "lacked jurisdiction to review the 2010 ordinances enacted by the City of Black Diamond approving the master plan development permits."

In April, the Washington State Supreme Court denied a petition to review the decision by the state Court of Appeals regarding YarrowBay's MPD Permit Approval Ordinances in Black Diamond.

The court actions support YarrowBay's ongoing position that the City of Black Diamond followed the correct process to review and approve permits for the planned communities of The Villages and Lawson Hills.

In September 2010, the Black Diamond City Council voted unanimously to approve the MPD Permit Approval Ordinances for The Villages and Lawson Hills. The council approved the Development Agreements for the MPDs on Dec. 12, 2011. The designs for the planned communities call for mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods that retain small-town character and appreciation for the natural surroundings.

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