Oakleigh-McClure Neighbors v. City of Eugene

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-21-2014
  • Case #: 2014-001
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Eugene Code 9.8320(3), “screening” for a planned unit development requires the use of visual impediments such as berms, closely planted vegetation, or walls; open space is not sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

Oakleigh Meadows (Meadows) sought approval for a 29-unit planned unit development (PUD). The development would border a park on the east, and single family dwellings and vacant lots on the other sides. The hearings officer approved the application with conditions that a 22.5 foot right of way be dedicated along Oakleigh Lane, a road that terminates halfway along the northern boundary, as well as a 13 foot strip from this termination to the eastern boundary to accommodate a future hammerhead turnaround and a path connecting to the park. The decision was appealed to and affirmed by the planning commission. Oakleigh-McClure Neighbors (Neighbors) and Paul Conte appealed to LUBA. Neighbors first argued that approval of the maximum density requirements was error due to inclusion in the calculation of area encumbered by easements. LUBA held the planning commission’s interpretation to be correct, noting the express language of Eugene Code 9.2751(1)(c)(1) does not include easements on the list of area to be excluded. Challengers argued that the approval would not meet setback requirements, however LUBA noted that the approval required compliance with all setback requirements except some that were conditioned upon obtaining an easement. Neighbors argued that the city erred in concluding that the PUD would have adequate screening under EC 9.8320(3). The Board agreed with regard to the eastern boundary, concluding that open space would not suffice to “screen” the property from view. Additional arguments regarding compatibility with adjacent and nearby land uses as well as off-site impacts were denied, and LUBA upheld the hearings officer’s findings that these impacts would be acceptable. Lastly, Conte and Neighbors challenged the city’s conclusion that the PUD would meet EC 9.8320(5), requiring “safe and adequate transportation systems.” LUBA determined that there was substantial evidence to support all of the findings of the planning commission regarding Oakleigh Lane, that Meadows is not required to dedicate more land than asked, and that the road will be safe for all traffic after the PUD is constructed. The city’s decision was remanded to address the issue regarding screening. REMANDED.