Early v. Jackson County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-20-2014
  • Case #: 2014-019
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

A county hearing officer’s determination that requires no interpretation of law, exercise of policy or legal judgment, is not a “land use decision” when the decision merely posits that a particular use of a property is not permitted in that particular zone, and therefore LUBA does not have jurisdiction over such a case.

The Earlys own property located on the south side of Crowson Road, on the Ashland city limit, zoned Rural Residential – 5 (RR-5) on which they were parking and storing commercial vehicles from their towing business. A Jackson County hearing officer concluded that the Early’s property was being used by in a manner that is not permitted by the Jackson County Development Ordinance. Early appeals that decision which ordered them to “cease using the Property for the parking, storage or occupancy of vehicles associated with the Ashland Towing Company or any other commercial activity not allowed in the Rural Residential zone[.]” Early’s petition for review asserted that the decision was a “land use decision” as defined by ORS 197.015(10). The Board found that the Jackson County hearings officer’s decision was a “land use decision” as defined by ORS 197.015(10)(a). However, the County contended that under ORS 197.015(10)(b)(A) their decision qualifies as an exception to the definition of “land use decisions.” The Board held that the hearings officer’s decision in this matter required no “exercise of policy or legal judgment” to determine that the RR-5 zone does not permit parking and storing of commercial and towed. Therefore, the hearings officer’s decision was exempt from the definition of “land use decision” under ORS 197.015(1)(a), and therefore, LUBA did not have jurisdiction over this case under ORS 197.825(1). Additionally, The Board found that Early did not file a motion to transfer as permitted by OAR 661-010-0075(11)(b). DISMISSED.