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Abstract

The specific purposes of this Article are twofold: first, an analysis of the SMA is set forth and then used in simple statistical comparisons to evaluate decisions rendered by local governments, superior courts, and the Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) during the period 1974-1983; second, to present a numerical model that represents the verbal interpretation of the SMA with a simple arithmetical equation using weighted variables. These variables correspond to objectives identified in interpretations of the SMA. Decisions of the SHB and appellate courts during this period are explained in a statistical manner through use of the model. Neither computer7 nor regression analysis is used, but both the verbal interpretation of the SMA-derived from legal analysis and theory-and the numerical equation-based in theory, but derived somewhat empirically are substantially validated by the high correlation between the outcomes predicted by the simple model and the decisions rendered by the SHB and appellate courts. This Article begins, in Part II, by identifying the objectives of the SMA and Washington's CZMP. The objectives are ascertained in this Article through analysis of the stated SMA policy, the goals that are required under the federal CZMA, and the goals described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which was filed by the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) with its application for federal approval of Washington's CZMP. Appellate court interpretation of the SMA supplements this analysis. Part III of the Article evaluates fifty decisions of local governments and the SHB according to the SMA objectives identified in Part II. Part III explores decision making trends at different levels of review and appeal for each objective to determine the statistical extent to which each particular objective influenced the decisions of local governments, the SHB, and, when appropriate, superior and appellate courts. Part IV of this Article presents a numerical model developed by the author to help evaluate and explore substantive decision making under the SMA. The model allows an evaluation of fifty decisions on the basis of a balancing of all of the identified SMA objectives rather than according to each objective taken separately. The model also serves to evaluate and compare all levels of permit review and appeal. Finally, in Part V, this Article discusses general trends in SMA implementation with respect to the opportunities and relative advantages available to parties involved in the permit process. These parties include governments, private and public developers, and those who contest permits, including the state attorney general's office, adjacent landowners, and citizen groups. A party's opportunities and relative advantages differ significantly according to the level at which the permit is being reviewed.