OMLO Partner Lloyd Pilchen’s article “Property Law and the Transformation of Seattle’s Terrain” was published in the November/December 2022 issue of The American Surveyor, a leading publication on land use, surveying, and global positioning technology.
The article explores several areas of municipal law that affect real property, including financing public works through the use of special assessments, the claim-filing prerequisite to filing a lawsuit, and constitutional “takings.” These are examined in the context of the City of Seattle’s historic transformation of its natural steep hills into a viable commercial district at the start of the twentieth century. The article highlights the personality behind Seattle’s transformation: the surveyor and engineer R.H. Thomson. The “regrading” of Seattle’s hills was an engineering feat that also led to many legal actions at the Washington State Supreme Court.
Read the article in PDF below or access the full issue online: The American Surveyor