First-class tidelands and shorelands — Lease — Preference right of upland owner — How exercised.
(1) Upon platting and appraisal of first-class tidelands or shorelands as provided in this chapter, if the department deems it for the best public interest to offer the first-class tidelands or shorelands for lease, the department shall notify the owner of record of uplands fronting upon the tidelands or shorelands to be offered for lease if the upland owner is a resident of the state, or the upland owner is a nonresident of the state, shall mail to the upland owner's last known post office address, as reflected in the county records, a copy of the notice notifying the owner that the state is offering the tidelands or shorelands for lease, giving a description of those lands and the department's appraised fair market value of the tidelands or shorelands for lease, and notifying the owner that the upland owner has a preference right to apply to lease the tidelands or shorelands at the appraised value for the lease for a period of sixty days from the date of service of mailing of the notice.
(2) If at the expiration of sixty days from the service or mailing of the notice, as provided in subsection (1) of this section, there being no conflicting applications filed, and the owner of the uplands fronting upon the tidelands or shorelands offered for lease, has failed to avail themselves of their preference right to apply to lease or to pay to the department the appraised value for lease of the tidelands or shorelands described in the notice, the tidelands or shorelands may be offered for lease to any person and may be leased in the manner provided for in the case of lease of state lands.
(3) If at the expiration of sixty days two or more claimants asserting a preference right to lease have filed applications to lease any tract, conflicting with each other, the conflict between the claimants shall be equitably resolved by the department as the best interests of the state require in accord with the procedures prescribed by chapter 34.05 RCW. However, any contract purchaser of lands or rights therein, which upland qualifies the owner for a preference right under this section, shall have first priority for the preference right.
[2005 c 155 § 506; 2000 c 11 § 29; 1982 1st ex.s. c 21 § 92. Formerly RCW 79.94.070.]