Overview of Expertise

Shallbetter Law Pllc

The Best in Real Estate and Land Use  

35714 SE 29th Street, Fall City, WA 98024  (509) 260-0037


Shallbetter Law has assisted clients in obtaining approval of development projects, resolving land use disputes, acquiring and transferring water rights, and navigating the maze of laws and regulations that govern land ownership, transfer, and development--particularly in Kittitas County, Washington.  In so doing, Shallbetter Law interfaces with local government officials to ensure that projects are properly understood, fairly conditioned, and promptly processed; represents of clients in challenges to local land use decisions; assists clients in drafting or resolving issues pertaining to easements, restrictive covenants, latecomer's agreements; and offers guidance and analysis to clients and local jurisdictions on issues pertaining to mitigation, impact fees, zoning, and planning.

Ms. Shallbetter, a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University and graduate with highest honors from the University of Washington School of Law, initially worked as a real estate and land use attorney in the Seattle office of the internationally recognized firm of Davis Wright Tremaine.  Subsequent to being name a Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, she relocated to Kittitas County in order to assist in the development of Suncadia, a 6500+ acre destination master-panned resort being developed near Roslyn, Washington by Lowe Destination Development.  As Development Manager, she oversaw all aspects of planning and development of the resort including its world-class golf courses, custom homesites, condominium-lodge, parks, paths, trails, and other amenities.  She was also responsible for development budgets, platting and site plan development, land use permitting, water right issues, monitoring compliance with development conditions, and providing legal consultation.

 While a Partner in the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Traci capably assisted property owners, developers, and permitting agencies on a wide array of permitting and land use issues.  Ms. Shallbetter has advised clients on compliance with Growth Management Act, Shoreline Management Act, State Environmental Policy Act, and Endangered Species Act provisions; negotiated plat and master plan conditions with local governments and stakeholders; and litigated land use cases involving exactions, takings, moratoria, and various statutory and constitutional issues.


Ms. Shallbetter also has advised clients on real estate transactions and development, generally.  She has facilitated multi-million dollar real estate transactions, prepared leases for international, Fortune 500 companies, and drafted easements, covenants, development agreements, latecomers agreements and association documents for residential developments, shopping centers, and mixed use projects.  Areas in which Ms. Shallbetter has special expertise include, but are not limited to:


1.               Impact Fees and Development Conditions.  Challenging and advising clients on local governments’ impositions of impact fees and other conditions of development approval.  (Authored multiple articles on impact fees including: Washington Real Property Deskbook chapter on Impact Fees and Exactions, Washington Lawyers’ Practice Manual chapter on Impact Fees, and Real Estate Finance Journal article on recent state supreme court decisions dealing with impact fees.  Shallbetter has been a guest lecturer on impact fees and exactions at University of Washington School of Law).  On numerous occasions, relying on cases such as West Main, Norco Construction, Kenart, Weyerhaeuser, Levine,  Valley View, and the Nollan/Dolan line of cases, Ms. Shallbetter has assisted developers in ensuring that local jurisdictions recognize vested rights, impose development conditions that are fair and reasonable, and do not overstep their authority. (E.g.,WCHS v Lynnwood, 120 Wn.App. 668 (2004); Biggers v. Bainbridge Island, 169 P.3 14 (2007)).


2.               Growth Management Act and Comprehensive Plans.  Providing guidance on comprehensive land use plans, zoning and Washington's growth management issues.  Drafting comprehensive plan amendments and legislation. 


3.               SEPA Compliance and Critical Areas.  Advising clients on compliance with State Environmental Policy Act and zoning regulations, including critical area ordinances.


4.               Waterfront Development—Shoreline Management Act.  Assisting clients in obtaining all permits needed for water-related and waterfront developments—from bulkheads and docks to large-scale mixed use projects.  Challenging governmental decisions under Shoreline Management Act and other local, state, and federal laws impacting waterfront development.  Shallbetter represented the prevailing party in the case of Biggers v. Bainbridge Island decided by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, en banc, at 169 P.3 14 (2007).


5.               Subdivisions, Site Plans, and Master Plans.  Representing landowners in platting process, including SEPA review, negotiation of plat conditions, and administrative challenges regarding the same.  Assisting property owners and corporations with master planning and permitting issues related thereto.


6.               Mineral Resources and Timber Property.  Assisting clients, including Central Pre-Mix, Green Crow, and Island Concrete with the development, maintenance, and expansion of gravel pits and other natural resource lands.  Drafting and negotiating comprehensive plan amendments related to mineral resource lands.


7.               Siting Essential Public Facilities.  Representing essential public facilities, including solid waste disposal companies, hospitals, and regional transportation facilities in conjunction with land use and real estate issues.  Advising on legislation affecting essential public facilities.  Representative clients have included CRC Health Corporation and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit).   See, e.g.,WCHS v Lynnwood, 120 Wn.App. 668 (2004).


8.               Hydraulic Project Approvals, Corps of Engineers Permits, and ESA Consultation.  Assisting clients in obtaining and permits from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Advising clients on Endangered Species Act issues and assisting with Section 7 consultation issues.


9.               Purchase and Sale Agreements.  Drafting purchase and sale agreements and representing buyers and sellers in simple and complex transactions for developed and undeveloped, residential, commercial, and industrial property—including purchase and sale agreements for master developers of large undeveloped tracts, finished “pads” and finished lots.


10.            Deeds of Trust and Financing.  Drafting, negotiating and enforcing deeds of trusts.  Prepare financing documents for borrowers and lenders.  Foreclosing on properties.


11.            Easements and Licenses.  Drafting access, view, landscape and conservation agreements and plat notes. Advising clients on enforcement of easements and related issues.


12.            Development Agreements and Latecomers’ Agreements.  Negotiating, drafting and assisting with administration of development agreements between master developer and local governments which allow extra project vesting, set forth specific development standards tailored to the site, and implement public-private partnerships for infrastructure construction and delivery.  Preparing and advising on issues associated with latecomer agreements for utility improvements


13.            Declarations of CC&Rs and Homeowner Documents.  Forming homeowner association and related entities; drafting articles, bylaws, CC&Rs and other related documents for multi-family, single-family and mixed use components of mixed use project. 


14.            Commercial and Residential Leases.  Drafting and negotiating residential, commercial and retail leases on behalf of landlords and tenants.  Representing clients on landlord-tenant issues, including unlawful detainer actions.


15.            Land Use Due Diligence.  Performing land use due diligence for all size projects in the Pacific Northwest.


16.            Construction and Consultant Agreements.  Negotiating construction agreements and consultant agreements for grading, drainage, landscaping, transportation, and environmental and engineering matters.


Representative Experience

Words from Clients and Colleagues

Traci Shallbetter-Bio

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