Del Rio Vineyards LLC v. Jackson County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 12-02-2014
  • Case #: 2014-054
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

A prior land use decision requiring an easement for mining access does not authorize or approve the use of an existing haul road absent specific description of the haul road in conjunction with the easement requirement.

Rogue Aggregates operates an aggregate mining and asphalt manufacturing facility on a parcel split-zoned Aggregate Resource (AR) and Woodland Resource (WR) in addition to owning adjacent parcels mostly zoned WR. In 2013 they applied to expand mining activities, including an electric conveyor, approval of an existing stockpile and stormwater detention area, future expansion of these, and a confirmation that the county had previously approved use of a haul road on the property. The planning director approved subject to conditions and a hearings officer approved on appeal. Del Rio appealed to LUBA.

Del Rio challenged the hearings officer’s conclusion that the haul road had been approved in a 1994 rezoning decision or a 1997 approval for extraction. LUBA agreed, noting that the 1994 decision did not approve any uses and that the requirement for an easement in the 1997 decision did not authorize the haul road on parcels that were not the subject of the decision. Del Rio next argued that there were inadequate findings to support a decision that local fire safety codes were satisfied. LUBA agreed that deferring to a future fire inspection does not sufficiently explain why fire standards were met where fire safety concerns were expressed in a letter from the Rogue River Fire District. Del Rio next challenged the finding that the use would not significantly change or increase cost of local farming and forest practices. The board found that the decision regarding the conveyor belt was amply supported by video showing it in use, but that impacts from the haul road should not have been excluded because the haul road was not approved in earlier decisions. Del Rio also challenged a similar conclusion regarding impact on scenic views. Again, LUBA held that it was improper to exclude impacts from the haul road. REMANDED.