Oregon Pipeline Company, LLC. v. Clatsop County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 04-29-2015
  • Case #: No. 2013-106
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

Consistent with OAR 660-006-0025(4)(q) and pursuant to ORS 197.835(9)(a)(D), a county may properly permit natural gas transmission lines in Agricultural Forest (AF) and Forest-80 (F-80) zones.

On remand from the Court of Appeals, LUBA addressed a Clatsop County board of county commissioners’ decision denying Oregon Pipeline’s application for land use approval for a natural gas pipeline. See Columbia Riverkeeper v. Clatsop County, 267 Or App 578 (2014). Oregon Pipeline’s original appeal contained thirteen assignments of error, and LUBA initially rejected the first and third assignments of error, but sustained the second, having reasoned that one of the county commissioners was biased and should not have participated in the decision, and that the decision should be made without the commissioner on remand. The Court of Appeals reversed on those grounds and LUBA denied the second assignment of error to maintain consistency. The fourth assignment of error was not challenged on appeal. LUBA No. 2013-106 addressed Oregon Pipeline’s fifth through twelfth assignments of error.

LUBA sustained Oregon Pipeline’s sixth assignment error—that the board of commissioners’ interpretation of the AF and F-80 zones not to allow natural gas transmission lines was inconsistent with OAR 660-006-0025(4)(q) and misconstrued ORS 197.835(9)(a)(D). LUBA sustained the twelfth assignment because the county conceded that General Public Facilities Policy 8 issue was beyond the scope of the board of commissioners’ reconsideration proceedings, and LUBA therefore owes no deference to the board of commissioner’s interpretation of the AF and F-80 zone under ORS 197.829(1) and Siporen v. City of Medford 349 Or 247, 260-61 (2010).

LUBA denied, in whole or in part, the fifth, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh assignments of error. The denial of the fifth, eighth, tenth, and eleventh assignments of error effectively sustained a number of findings that the proposed pipeline did not abide by “applicable approval standards.” LUBA found that the county's decision to deny petitioner's requested permit was permissible. AFFIRMED.