Gilmour v. Linn County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 07-20-2016
  • Case #: A161668
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Collins v. Klamath County, a local government’s interpretation of a land use regulation that implements state law is not entitled to deference under ORS 197.829.

Linn County and the Friends of Linn County Coalition (Petitioners) appealed a final order from the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). The LUBA opinion reversed an earlier decision by Linn County that Gilmour’s (Respondent’s) activities on his property (which is zoned for exclusive farm use) were not “farm use” within the meaning of ORS 215.203(2)(a). On appeal, Petitioners contended that LUBA should have deferred to the county’s determination because ORS 197.829(1) requires LUBA to defer to a local government’s interpretation of its land use regulations. Respondent argued LUBA was not required to defer to the county’s decision because it involved an interpretation of state law. Under Collins v. Klamath County, 148 Or App 515, 520 (1997), a local government’s interpretation of a land use regulation that implements state law is not entitled to deference under ORS 197.829. Because Linn County’s decision involved an interpretation of ORS 215.203(2)(a), the Court held that LUBA was not required to defer to that decision. The Court further held that the plain language and context of ORS 215.203(2)(a) supported LUBA’s conclusion that respondent’s activities met the statutory definition of “farm use,” since the compressing of harvested straw constitutes “packaging” within the plain meaning of the statute. Affirmed.

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