Council Direction on Dalpay Property
Posted on 03/08/2023
Dalpay propertyAt the March 7, 2023, Newcastle City Council meeting, Council directed staff not to appeal the recent Dalpay property decision by the Pollution Control Hearings Board, which affirmed the Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Practices Application/Notification Notice of Decision FPA/N No. 2420111, related to the Dalpay property (also sometimes referred to as the Deleo Wall litigation), and PCHB Case No. 18-035c. The Forest Practices Application (FPA) allows for logging of the area.

Since May of 2018, the City has taken many steps to attempt to reach a different outcome and has no further effective options available to achieve alternative results.

A Brief History of the FPA and City of Newcastle Actions

On May 18, 2018, The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approved the FPA to log the Dalpay property. On May 21, 2018, the City of Newcastle filed an appeal of DNR’s approval of the FPA to the Pollution Control Hearings Board, and parties began engaging in significant discovery, including Interrogatories, Requests for Production, Requests for Admissions, and depositions. This discovery process went into 2019. As part of its case, the City hired a geology expert and a wetlands expert. Their testimonies can be found in the Board’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order.

During the first half of 2019, parties filed cross motions for summary judgment, responses opposing other parties’ motions for summary judgment, and replies supporting their own motions for summary judgment. On June 13, 2019, the Board granted some of DNR’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing a number of the City’s claims, but leaving some remaining. (See the Order on Summary Judgment Motions for more.)

The parties agreed to a number of continuances to attempt to settle the matter by someone purchasing the property from the Dalpays. The City obtained a $450,000 Conservation Futures grant that could have gone towards the purchase of the property, and which would have required dollar-for-dollar matching funds. King County Parks also had $600,000 from a Conservation Futures grant earmarked for this project.

With assistance from the community, an appraisal of the property was done, setting the value at $1 million. The Dalpays valued the property much higher than that. Despite best efforts, the parties were never able to come to an agreement.

On October 18-19, 2022, this went to a two-day hearing in front of the Board. The City presented its case, including calling its experts to testify. DNR also had its experts testify. On February 8, 2023, the Board upheld DNR’s approval of the FPA.
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