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September 2015

Judge silences plaintiffs, tosses noise disclosure complaint

A Skagit County Superior Court judge sided with two real estate brokerages and dismissed a lawsuit by two Coupeville residents who claimed noise disclosures required by Island County code were inadequate.

In tossing the complaint the judge agreed with the defendants' contention that no unfair or deceptive acts under the state Consumer Protection Act were committed, and that disclosures provided were sufficient to alert homeowners of aircraft noise impacts. The judge further determined that reasonable inspection would have revealed the facts available in a second more detailed disclosure statement.

Island County requires disclosures related to aircraft noise from the naval air station on Whidbey Island. The code requires real estate brokers to present two different disclosures to potential home buyers within "impacted areas" in the vicinity of navy operations near Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

The plaintiffs had sought class-action status, damages, and injunctive relief. The case was heard in Skagit County Superior Court after Island County judges recused themselves.