Reading v. Douglas County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 12-24-2014
  • Case #: 2014-081
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

Statewide Planning Goal guidelines are advisory in nature and are not a source of mandatory approval criteria, and a challenge based on failure to satisfy specific language in the guidelines will fail.

Callahan Ridge, LLC owns a 159.4 acre property on which they have been operating an aggregate operation. They sought approval to rezone a 21.83 acre portion where the gravel has been removed to Commercial, and to change the designation from Exclusive Farm Use (FC) to Rural Commercial. They also applied for conditional use permits to develop a recreational vehicle park on the rezoned land and a golf course on the remaining 137 acres which would retain the FC designation. The board of county commissioners adopted the planning commission’s findings of fact and approved the application. Reading argued that the traffic impact analysis (TIA) was deficient because it failed to measure the increased use of the golf course. LUBA held that the analysis under the rule is to measure the change due to the comprehensive plan amendment or zoning change, and not the impact of conditional uses under current zoning. Reading argued that an engineer’s report regarding flood analysis was not prepared by a “licensed professional” and therefore did not satisfy Statewide Planning Goal 7 (Disasters and Hazards). LUBA noted that goal guidelines are not application standards but are advisory, therefore a challenge based on satisfaction of specific language of the goal cannot stand. Reading argued that a condition requiring an easement would be a taking, but LUBA found that other strips of land that Callahan had already obtained easements to satisfy the county’s condition. If an easement of Reading’s property was not obtained, no taking would occur. AFFIRMED.