Oregon Coast Alliance v. Curry County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 01-27-2016
  • Case #: 2015-080
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

Pursuant to OAR 660-033-0130(2)(a), no enclosed structures or group of structures that exceed a "design capacity" of 100 people may be approved by a local government within three miles of an urban growth boundary, and where a local government finds that the cumulative design capacity of structures on a proposed golf course will not exceed 100 people, the proposed golf course will be deemed compliant.

Oregon Coast Alliance (petitioner) appealed the county’s decision approving a conditional use permit (CUP) for an 18-hole golf course on property zoned Exclusive Farm Use (EFU). Elk River Property Development, LLC (intervenor), applicant for the CUP, intervened on the side of the county. The proposed golf course would be constructed on 198 acres of the 354-acre EFU-zoned Knapp Ranch between Highway 101 and the Pacific Ocean and abutting the Port Orford urban growth boundary (UGB). The golf course would include a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse with a pro shop, offices, restaurant, lounge, locker rooms, and storage. Petitioner raised arguments under OAR 660-033-0130(2)(a), which provides that a golf course within three miles of a UGB cannot include enclosed structures or a group of structures that exceed a “design capacity” of 100 people.

Three subassignments of error comprised petitioner’s sole assignment of error. Petitioner first argued that the hallways depicted in intervenor’s preliminary drawings are large enough to qualify as “areas for human occupancy or assembly.” LUBA denied petitioner’s first subassignment of error, having determined that the county’s findings that hallways are “conduits for pedestrian transit” and do not increase design capacity were correct. Petitioner’s second argument challenged the accuracy of the county’s findings that each of the mens’ and womens’ locker rooms would have a design capacity of four people. LUBA determined that the county’s findings, supported by intervenor’s architect’s testimony, were correct, and denied the second subassignment of error. Finally, petitioner argued that the county erred in failing to include the proposed decks and patios, that petitioner conceded are not “enclosed structures,” in its calculation of the design capacity of the clubhouse. LUBA denied that argument, having agreed with the county that exclusion of decks and patios from the design capacity calculation was consistent with the express language of OAR 660-033-0130(2)(a). AFFIRMED.