Delta Property Company v. Lane County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 10-07-2015
  • Case #: 2013-061
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

LUBA must affirm a local government's interpretations of its own land use legislation unless the interpretation is not "plausible" according to the Supreme Court's decision in Siporen v. City of Medford, 349 Or 247 (2010), or unless one of the exceptions set out in ORS 197.829(1) apply.

Delta Property Company LLC (Delta) owns two adjacent parcels of land, one zoned Sand and Gravel (S-G) and the other Exclusive Farm Use (EFU)-zoned. Delta’s parcel in the S-G zone contains an allowed existing mine. The EFU zone requires a special use permit to mine gravel and aggregate resources, and Delta applied to the county for such a special use permit. The county denied Delta’s request after determining that the proposed mine was not on the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan’s or the Metro Plan’s Goal 5 inventory of significant aggregate resource sites.

On appeal, LUBA sustained Delta’s assignment of error challenging the county’s finding that the proposed mining site is not located on the Metro Plan Goal 5 inventory (having determined that the site is in fact located on the Metro Plan Goal 5 inventory), but affirmed the county’s decision based solely on its finding that the site must be included on the county’s Goal 5 inventory. Delta Property v. Lane County, 69 Or LUBA 305 (2014).

On appeal of LUBA’s decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the part of LUBA’s decision that affirmed the county finding that Delta’s request must be denied because the proposed site is not on the county’s Goal 5 inventory, but reversed because LUBA “failed to comply with ORS 197.829(1) and failed to consider whether the county’s interpretations . . . were plausible.” Delta Property Co., LLC v. Lane County, 271 Or App 612 (2015).

On remand, LUBA explained its rationale for its previous decision, and determined that it was required to affirm because none of the four exceptions under ORS 197.829(1) applied because the county’s decision was not inconsistent with the express language, purpose, or underlying policy of the Metro Plan, nor was it contrary to a state statute, goal, or rule. AFFIRMED.