Columbia Pacific v. City of Portland

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 01-04-2018
  • Case #: A165618
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

“Nondiscriminatory local laws that have only ‘incidental’ effects on interstate commerce are valid unless ‘the burden imposed on such commerce is clearly excessive in relation to the putative local benefits.’” Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc., 397 US 137, 142, 90 S Ct 844 (1970).

Petitioners (Colombia Pacific) filed for Judicial Review of a LUBA order that amended city zoning codes, prohibited new fossil fuel terminals, and caps the existing terminals already in use. Both Columbia Pacific and the city argued LUBA erred by determining the amendments violated the dormant Commerce Clause. Columbia Pacific specifically argued that the “practical effects” of the amendments are discriminatory. “Nondiscriminatory local laws that have only ‘incidental’ effects on interstate commerce are valid unless ‘the burden imposed on such commerce is clearly excessive in relation to the putative local benefits.’” Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc., 397 US 137, 142, 90 S Ct 844 (1970). The Court of Appeals found that LUBA erred in its determination that the amendments violate the dormant Commerce Clause because (1) the amendments do not discriminate “between substantially similar out-of-state and in-state economic entities,” (2) the restrictions imposed do not prevent out-of-state products from delivery into Oregon, and (3) the amendments do not favor Oregon consumers over out-of-state consumers. The Court held Columbia Pacific failed to meet its burden to “demonstrate that the claimed burdens on interstate commerce are clearly excessive in relation to the putative local benefits.” Reversed and remanded in part.

Advanced Search