Lamar Outdoor Advertising Co. v. City of Tigard

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 06-04-2014
  • Case #: 2013-85/90
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

Tigard Development Code 18.780.090.D sets out a cumulative list of requirements for approval of variable-message signs; these approvals are not “permits” for the purposes of ORS 227.175(3).

In April 2013, Lamar Outdoor Advertising Co. (Lamar) sought and received approval from the City of Tigard to change two separate LED-faced billboards. In August 2013, it received word from the city that they were rescinding the approval of the two signs. He filed two appeals with LUBA which were subsequently consolidated.

Lamar first argued that the city erred in concluding that the approvals were inconsistent with the Tigard Development Code (TDC). LUBA concluded that the city’s narrower interpretation of TDC was correct in that section 18.780.090.D–regulating the placement and properties of variable-message signs–sets out a cumulative list of requirements which were not in fact satisfied for the original approvals to have been valid. The Board also rejected the argument that the city lacked the authority to revoke the approvals, citing TDC 18.210.070.B, which states that improperly granted approvals are void. Next they rejected the argument that the city retroactively applied a preferred interpretation of its code, as the Board found that the city had not interpreted TDC in their original approval, but rather had made the approval in error. Lamar argued that equitable estoppel barred the city from revocation of the approvals. LUBA rejected this argument as well, first questioning its own authority to decide an appeal based on this doctrine, but ultimately concluding that the elements of estoppel were not present in this case. In its second assignment of error, Lamar argued that the city failed to follow procedure for revoking permits under ORS 227.175(3) and (10). The Board disagreed with Lamar that the approvals were statutory “permits,” and that if they were, Lamar had failed to show that a revocation proceeding was a proceeding “on an application.” AFFIRMED.