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Dispute Resolution and Neighborhood Dispute Mediation Centers


Most counties have nonprofit dispute resolution centers. Some jurisdictions have created neighborhood dispute or mediation centers to resolve nuisance related problems between neighbors. If disputes between neighbors over nuisance-related items can be resolved through alternative methods such as mediation, the local government does not have to step in with a formal complaint investigation/remedial process. Ch. 7.75 RCW authorizes cities and counties to create dispute resolution centers.

This page provides an overview and reference links to various programs.

Local Government Programs in Washington State

  • Bellevue Mediate - Bellevue's Mediation Program began as a pilot project in the Code Compliance Division as an alternative to traditional enforcement of neighborhood issues. The program is designed to enable citizens to resolve neighborhood problems without government intervention, and at the earliest possible stage. Complaints referred to mediation fall into three categories: Where there are no codes covering the issue; complaints that are covered by code, but do not present life safety concerns are referred to mediation prior to investigation; cases which have been investigated and no violation or partial violation has been found.
    • Bellevue Municipal Code Ch. 3.70 - Dispute Resolution Center
  • Clark County Community Mediation Services (CMS)
  • King County Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Lynnwood Neighborhood Safety Neighborhood Disputes, Lynnwood Police Department
  • Port Townsend Municipal Code Ch. 2.82 - Dispute Resolution Program
  • Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County

Additional References

  • Campus Community Coalition (Bellingham) - Campus Community Coalition was founded in 1999 by Western Washington University President Karen W. Morse and Bellingham Mayor Mark Asmundson to prevent and address problems related to student alcohol misuse. In 2008, the Coalition expanded to increase collaboration with other area colleges and to include other aspects of health, safety, and quality of life relevant the campuses and community
  • How to Set Up a Mediation Program for the City -- "Nuts and Bolts," by L. Elise Dieterich, J.D., ADR Options Consulting(Seattle), Information Bulletin No. 494 (1996), Legal Notes, Proceedings of May 8-10, pp.[19-1]-[19-19], 1996 (Available through MRSC Library Loan)
  • National Association of Community Mediation
  • Resolution Washington: Dispute Resolution Centers
  • Want to Resolve a Dispute? Try Mediation, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Youth in Action No. 13, 3/2000

Last Modified: August 18, 2016