Standing with you
for the common good
Standing with you
for the common good

Loring Advising

Environmental & Land Use Law

"As a native Washingtonian, I have watched the Salish Sea region develop rapidly over the past 40 years, and I appreciate the need to preserve our area’s visual beauty, ecological richness, and high quality of life. I established a regional practice so that I could assist individuals, neighborhood groups, non-profit organizations, and Tribes in defending their rights, their environmental interests, and the resources they seek to preserve for the greater good. Much of my experience has been earned in the public-interest sector, most recently serving for over a decade as the staff attorney for Friends of the San Juans. Before that time, I served as an associate in a large Seattle law firm."

- Kyle A. Loring

JD. - Boston College Law School. Magna cum laude
A.B. - Bowdoin College. Summa cum laude


My Promise

Over the past 18 years, I have collaborated with entities to establish non-profits, conduct cleanups consistent with Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act, advocate for environmentally-responsible policies under the Growth Management Act and Shoreline Management Act, and ensure that individual development proposals satisfy local and state requirements for environmental protection. Whether your concern requires action in a less formal setting, such as one of Washington’s environmental hearings boards, or in a court of law, I will advocate zealously on your behalf. I look forward to supplementing your passionate efforts with tenacity, diligence, and integrity.

Practice Areas

Loring Advising is proud to offer a range of professional services throughout the Puget Sound-region in the following areas of environmental law and land use law. Click on the title for a summary of those laws.

Real Estate+

If you own property, you may have a legal need related to it. We can help you examine your easements or restrictive covenants, or help you create or enforce one. And when it's time to move to your next home, we can provide sale documents tailored to your property, and guide you through the process.

Growth Management+

In 1990, the Washington legislature adopted the Growth Management Act to address uncoordinated and unplanned growth that had sprawled into rural lands and sensitive habitats. A primary goal of the GMA is to encourage urban development and decrease rural sprawl. The GMA sets forth a public interest in the conservation and wise use of land, environmental protection, sustainable economic development, and health, safety, and high quality of life. The GMA directs all cities and counties to adopt local regulations that protect natural resource lands like farms and forests and critical areas like wetlands, streams, aquifers, and geologically hazardous and frequently flooded areas. Faster growing areas must also adopt Comprehensive Plans to guide their development by addressing topics like housing, utilities, transportation, and economic development.

Shoreline Protection+

Several laws protect Washington shorelines, including the Shoreline Management Act, Hydraulic Code, and Aquatic Lands act.

  • In 1971, the Washington legislature recognized that the state’s shorelines are “among the most valuable and fragile of its natural resources” and thereby enacted a Shoreline Management Act (SMA) to coordinate the preservation, public access, and limited development of those shorelines. The SMA announced that the public interest would be paramount, and established a policy to protect against harm to public health, the land, and vegetation and wildlife. The SMA also created a partnership between local governments and the Washington Department of Ecology, which cooperates to adopt shoreline master programs that guide shoreline conservation, access, and development with specific rules. In general, shoreline development requires permitting through a public process that can involve public concerns.
  • The Washington Hydraulic Code directs the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect fish life when issuing permits (Hydraulic Project Approvals) for activities that disturb freshwater and saltwater shorelines. Implementing regulations provide specific design guidelines for shoreline development like docks and bulkheads.
  • The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) serves as the trustee for more than 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands. These lands include the area under navigable lakes, streams, and marine waters. DNR manages these lands to encourage public use, protect the environment, and foster water-dependent uses. Shoreline development that would extend over these waters, such as marinas, docks, and buoys, requires DNR approval.

Farm & Forest Preservation+

A variety of state and local rules call for the preservation of sustainable farm and forest lands. The Growth Management Act directs local governments to plan for the maintenance and enhancement of natural resource-based industries like farming and forestry. All counties must designate agricultural and forest resource lands on their planning maps and ensures that new development does not conflict with farming and forestry on those lands. In addition, resource landowners in many areas may apply for reduced property taxes.

Streams & Wetlands Protection+

Federal and state laws offer protections for sensitive habitats like streams and wetlands. The federal Clean Water Act and Washington Water Pollution Control Act generally prohibit the discharge of pollutants into water without a permit and regulates the dredging or filling of streams or wetlands. Where the dredging or filling would significantly degrade these waters, or where a practicable alternative exists, it generally will not be allowed. In addition, Critical Areas Ordinances adopted under the Growth Management Act must ensure that any new development achieves no net loss of the functions and values associated with wetlands and streams. Such functions include improved water quality, flood control, and important habitat for fish, birds, amphibians, and mammals.

Zoning & Land Use+

Local governments throughout Washington have adopted zoning and land use controls in an effort to establish more thoughtful development patterns, to limit incompatible neighboring development, and to establish parcel sizes consistent with their surroundings. In addition to guiding new industrial, commercial, residential, and resource development to areas where they will cause the least impact on the environment and each other, these rules address such issues as excessive noise, nighttime lighting, transportation needs, archaeological resources, and approved hunting methods and locations. In addition, state laws like Washington’s timber trespass statute offer a way to recover from neighbors who cut trees on your property.


Both of the State Environmental Policy Act and National Environmental Policy Act require public reviews of the likely significant environmental impacts of many new development projects. Under SEPA and NEPA, public and private project proponents must stop and think before breaking ground, considering the project’s impacts and reasonable alternatives when submitting a permit application. Under SEPA, project review agencies can condition a project so that it does not result in any impacts, or deny a project whose impacts cannot be mitigated.

Non-profit Formation+

At some point in the life of any organization, its stakeholders may consider forming as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation. This process entails the preparation and filing of foundational documents with both of state and federal entities and leads to ongoing reporting requirements.


Professional life: I started my practice in 2003 with an environmental justice fellowship in Roxbury, where I supported neighborhood efforts to undo decades of governmental and private decisions that disempowered the community. After spending the next 3 years in the environmental and land use department at K&L Gates in Seattle, I moved to Friday Harbor to take on the staff attorney role for Friends of the San Juans, an ardent defender of the ecological health celebrated by residents and visitors alike.

Community service: I have been fortunate to be able to serve several regional and local organizations in leadership roles, including Zero Waste Washington, SJC Public Hospital District #1, Transportation Choices Coalition, Leadership San Juan Islands, Families and Neighbors Support Island Rec, and the San Juan Island Trails Committee.

Family: I live on San Juan Island with a wonderful wife, spirited dog, and energetic in-laws.

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