Zimmerman v. LCDC

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 10-28-2015
  • Case #: A153856
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J., for the Court; Hadlock, J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 197.175(1) a city must exercise zoning authority consistent with state statutes and applicable LCDC rules articulating statewide development goals. A city’s efforts to comply with LCDC goals is sufficient where it uses the best available data in creating its economic development plan.

Zimmerman appealed a Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) order upholding a decision of the Department of Land Conservation and Development director that approved a City of Scappoose (City) ordinance adjusting Scappoose’s urban growth boundary (UGB). On appeal, Zimmerman argued that the LCDC order was “unlawful in substance” under ORS 197.651(10)(a), as it did not comply with certain LCDC statewide development goals. The LCDC goals at issue were Goal 14 (Urbanization), requiring that an increase to a city’s UGB be pursuant to a demonstrated need for additional employment opportunities, OAR 660-015-0000(14), and Goal 9 (Economic Development), requiring, inter alia, a city to adopt an Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) that details local and statewide economic trends and deficiencies, including available local opportunities that are consistent with the community’s overall economic plan and available land. OAR 660-015-0000(9). Under ORS 197.651(9)(b), an order is “unlawful in substance” if the LCDC “erroneously interpreted a provision of law” in reaching its determination, and on review courts must accept LCDC findings of fact and give deference to plausible interpretations of LCDC’s own rules. The Court found that, given its limited standard of review, the LCDC order was not unlawful in substance, as the LCDC could plausibly have found that the City sufficiently demonstrated under Goal 14 that the land was needed for economic opportunities, and that the need was based on an adequate EOA adopted under Goal 9. A city’s planning effort is adequate if it uses the best available information in its EOA in complying with LCDC goals. Affirmed.

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