Parkview Terrace Development LLC v. City of Grant's Pass

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 07-23-2014
  • Case #: 2014-024
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 197.303, Grant’s Pass Development Code 19.052 (2), (4)-(6), (8)(a) and (e), (9), and (11), cannot be used to deny a proposal for “needed housing” as they are not “clear and objective” approval standards.

Parkview Terrace (Parkview) sought approval for a site plan to construct a 50-unit multi-family housing project on a site that was supposed to have had a planned unit development (PUD) that was stopped after phase I. In addition they sought a variance to the street block length standards. The Urban Area Planning Commission (UAPC) approved both and intervenors appealed to the city council. The city council reversed and Parkview appealed to LUBA. Parkview argued that the proposal was for “needed housing” under ORS 197.303, and that as a result the approval standards were required to be, but were not “clear and objective.” LUBA noted that it was error for the city not to respond to these arguments in its findings. The Board then went on to agree with Parkview that seven of the nine sections of the Grant’s Pass Development Code (GPDC) used to deny the application were not “clear and objective” and thus the city council erred in applying them. Parkview next argued that the city erred on the merits with the remaining two approval standards and the denial of the variance. LUBA held that the city council erred in its findings that the proposed parking facilities were inadequate and that the other code section did not apply to residential development. LUBA found that the city council had justified denial of the variance on a criterion to mitigate adverse impacts. However, the Board held that this was in error because that criterion can only be used as a basis for denial where the “variance is not necessary to preserve a property right” or “where the unique physical constraint or characteristic … is found to be self-created.” Since the city council had adopted findings of the UAPC that these circumstances were not present, the denial was made in error. REVERSED.