Squier v. Multnomah County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 02-04-2015
  • Case #: 2014-074
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Bassham
  • Full Text Opinion

Repeal and re-adoption of county ordinances acknowledged to be in compliance with statewide planning goals, that do not materially alter the provisions of those ordinances, do not “de-acknowledge” those ordinances from compliance with those goals.

Frevach Land Company (Frevach) owns a 16.68-acre parcel which is currently in use as a marina on the Multnomah Channel. All but two acres of the property are located within City of Portland UGB. Those two acres are zoned Multiple Use Agriculture-20 (MUA-20). Frevach wanted to convert the existing marina to a houseboat moorage at the maximum allowable density. They sought an interpretation from the county as to whether a Goal 14 (Urbanization) exception would be required, taking the position that it was not required because the houseboat moorage is allowed as a conditional use in the county’s comprehensive plan, and that the plan complies with Goal 14. The county planning director approved as well as the hearings officer, determining that no Goal 14 exception was required and that OAR 660-004-0040 does not regulate houseboat moorages.

Squier appealed to LUBA, arguing that it was error to rely on the silence regarding houseboats in OAR 660-004-0040 to determine that no exception to Goal 14 was required. The board held that since the rule does not contain provisions governing houseboat moorages, it has no direct application to determine the question of whether a Goal 14 exception would be required. Squier argued against the acknowledgment of Multnomah County Code’s “Waterfront Use Provisions” compliance with Goal 14. LUBA held that Squier’s argument that subsequently adopted ordinances caused the previous ordinances to lose their acknowledged was waived for failure to raise below. Addressing the merits of that argument though, they found that the repeal and re-adoption of those ordinances did not “de-acknowledge” compliance with Goal 14 since the action taken to repeal and re-adoption was solely to fix publication notice defects. The MCC Waterfront Use Provisions had not been materially changed since adoption, thus LUBA held that those provisions retained their acknowledgment status of compliance with Goal 14. AFFIRMED.