Rudell v. City of Bandon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 04-11-2012
  • Case #: A150018
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A city may rely on Webster's Dictionary to define the scope of "foredune", and such interpretation is not inconsistent with the Bandon Municipal Code. Also, under ORS 197.307(6) (2009) and ORS 227.173(1), the definition, as interpreted by the city, must be sufficiently clear and objective.

Petitioner Rudell sought judicial review of the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) decision to affirm the City of Bandon's (City) denial of a permit to build a home. Rudell applied for a permit in the City's "shore land overlay" zone, which the City denied under Bandon Municipal Code (BMC) 17.24.040(D), forbidding structures to be on identified foredunes. The City's definition of "foredune" did not clarify certain terms in the clause, thus the City relied on Webster's Third New Int'l Dictionary for clarification. From this definition, the City denied Rudell's application. The Court of Appeals held that despite a lack of ambiguity in the word "foredune", the City correctly relied on Webster's to specify the scope of "foredune". Thus, the City's interpretation was not inconsistent with the BMC. Additionally, the Court held that for purposes of ORS 197.307(6) (2009) and ORS 227.173(1), the interpretation was sufficiently clear and objective. Affirmed.

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