Landwatch Lane County v. Lane County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 11-12-2014
  • Case #: 2014-070
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 215.213 governs the approval of nonfarm dwellings on land zoned Exclusive Farm Use contained in “marginal lands” counties; ORS 215.284 only applies to non-marginal lands counties.

Lane County granted a special use permit to Travis Bamford for a nonfarm dwelling on land zoned Exclusive Farm Use (EFU). The subject parcel was created after 1993, is not high value farm land, and is in a “marginal lands” county. Landwatch Lane County (Landwatch) appealed to LUBA. Landwatch claimed that ORS 215.284(1), requiring the parcel to have been created before 1993, should have been applied to deny the permit. Landwatch also contended that if ORS 215.284(1) was not applicable, ORS 215.213(4) should have been applied to deny the permit. LUBA undertook a review of the statutes in question, determining that as “marginal lands” were at issue the proper standards to apply were found in ORS 215.213(3). Because of this and finding that the history of ORS 215.284 indicated an intention to apply it only to non-marginal lands counties, the Board rejected Landwatch’s first argument. Landwatch next argued that the “suitability” standard contained in ORS 215.213(3) never applies in the Willamette Valley, so ORS 215.213(4) should control, pointing to ORS 215.284’s differing treatment of land within and outside of the Willamette Valley as support. LUBA rejected this argument as an attempt to bring in a distinction from another statute which is not contained in the text of the statute at issue. Further, Landwatch argued that due to a reference to the Willamette Valley Greenway contained in ORS 215.213(4) which is not contained in (3), the legislature intended (4) to apply exclusively to the Willamette Valley. However, LUBA found no language in (3) to support that conclusion. AFFIRMED.