LO 138 LLC v. City of Lake Oswego

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-15-2015
  • Case #: 2014-092
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

The definition of “village character” in the Lake Oswego Downtown Redevelopment Design District does not create mandatory approval standards beyond those contained in the Lake Oswego Code.

Evergreen Group LLC sought a development review permit for Block 137 in Lake Oswego to build a combination of residential units and commercial space. The Development Review Commission denied the application, but the city council approved the permit at the maximum allowed height for the East End General Commercial (EC) zone of four stories at sixty feet. LO 138, neighbor-owners of the block to the east, appealed to LUBA, claiming that the Downtown Redevelopment Design District (DRDD) overlay requires that proposed development is not out of scale with existing three-story development on the surrounding blocks. LUBA held that the city council’s interpretation, that “village character” in the DRDD does not set a mandatory comparison standard, was plausible under a deferential Siporen review.

LO 138 next argued that the city council erred by approving an exception to the prohibition in LOC 50.03.003(1)(d)(iii) against ground floor residential when it approved a private library and gym accessory use area for proposed live/work units. They contended that this exception did not meet Urban Design Plan objectives required for the granting of the exception under LOC 50.08.005(1). LUBA held that the city’s explanation for granting the explanation was plausible under the standard that the “alternative design accomplishes the purposes of the Urban Design Plan in a manner that is equal or superior to a project designed pursuant to [the LOC 50.03.003(1)(d)(iii)] standard.” LO 138 lastly made arguments regarding traffic impacts, but LUBA found that they had failed to respond properly to counterarguments, and that they had failed to demonstrate that the additional trips to be generated by the proposal violated any standard. AFFIRMED.