Head v. Lane County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 12-03-2015
  • Case #: 2015-045
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

Lane Code (LC) 16.211(3)(n)(v) provides, in part, that a proposed home occupation shall not "unreasonably interfere with uses permitted by the zoning of nearby lands" and where a home occupation is determined to likely cause a "significant change in the normal environment of a neighborhood" it will be deemed to constitute an unreasonable interference under LC 16.211(3)(n)(v).

Andrew Head, petitioner appealed the county’s decision denying his application for a home occupation permit for an event venue. Head applied for a special use permit for an event center adjacent to his residence on a 40-acre parcel zoned Impacted Forest (F-2). Surrounding properties are zoned F-2, Rural Residential (RR-5), and Exclusive Farm Use (E-40). The subject property contains various structures, including Head’s dwelling, two agricultural buildings, a gazebo, a “pond house,” and a 900 square foot structure. Head sought approval to host events of up to 250 people, generally on weekends and ending no later than 11 p.m. The county denied the application after concluding that Head failed to demonstrate that the event center would not “unreasonably interfere with uses permitted by the zoning of nearby lands or with other uses allowed.” Head then appealed to LUBA.

Head’s single assignment of error alleged that the county’s decision was not supported by adequate findings as to the hearings officer’s interpretation of the “unreasonable interference” standard provided by the applicable Lane Code (LC) provision, and that the hearings officer’s decision improperly construed LC 16.211(3)(n)(v) because the hearings officer’s interpretation of the “unreasonably interfere” standard at LC 16.211(3)(n)(v) is inconsistent with the county’s interpretation of an “interfere” standard set forth in a 2002 decision by the county (the Neumann decision). LUBA denied Head’s assignment of error, having determined that Head failed to demonstrate that the county was required to adopt findings consistent with the Neumann decision, and that the Neumann decision, which involved a separate LC standard, was not binding on the hearings officer in applying LC 16.211(3)(n)(v) to Head’s application. LUBA also determined that, as a matter of efficiency, cross-assignments of error in a cross-petition for review by Landwatch Lane County and twelve others did not need to be resolved. AFFIRMED.