Lennar Northwest, Inc. v. Clackamas County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 08-31-2016
  • Case #: A162228
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen, J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The Clackamas County Comprehensive Plan’s seven factor test for zoning (CCCP Policy 4.R.2) must be applied giving equal weight to each factor.

Petitioner appealed a judgment of LUBA denying a petition seeking higher density residential rezoning. Petitioner argued that the county hearings officer improperly interpreted and applied the relevant rezoning approval standards. Petitioner tried to re­zone land for development and requested permission from Clackamas County. The county’s hearings officer denied Petitioner’s rezoning request using the seven factors found in the Clackamas County Comprehensive Plan (CCCP Policy 4.R.2), balancing and giving unequal weights to each factor.  Petitioner appealed the denial and LUBA determined that the hearings officer improperly weighed the seven factors, and engaged in a “balancing test” not contained in CCCP Policy 4.R.2. Instead, LUBA weighed each factor equally and reversed the County’s decision. County appealed, arguing that LUBA improperly interpreted 4.R.2 to require equal weight be given to each factor. The Court held that LUBA correctly interpreted Policy 4.R.2 to require an equal weighing of factors unless to do so would result in a mandate of contrary results from different factors.  The Court reasoned that none of the 4.R.2 factors were incompatible because only one of them mandated a result, by including that a property “shall” be zoned a certain way when some conditions are present. Affirmed.  

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