Del Rio Vineyards, LLC v. Jackson County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 05-17-2016
  • Case #: 2015-104
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

When a local government approves an application allowing aggregate extraction related activities, that decision must include findings that are consistent with the applicable local regulations, and the burden of proof must not be improperly placed upon the incorrect party.

Intervenor-respondent, Rogue Aggregates, Inc., applied for and received a permit for various mining uses on multiple plots of land, one of which was zoned Woodland Resource (WR). Petitioner, Del Rio Vineyards, LLC (Del Rio), is the owner of a vineyard and winery near the mining operation. Del Rio appealed a decision by the county hearings officer approving aggregate extraction related activities on the plot zoned WR.

In response to Del Rio’s first assignment of error, LUBA ruled that the hearings officer did not err in relying upon the record since the only difference between the record Del Rio presented and the one used was pagination. Next, Del Rio asserted that the mining operations must satisfy the conditional use standards of Jackson County Land Development Ordinance (JCLDO) because the mining uses are accessed via the adjacent Haul Road. LUBA rejected Del Rio’s argument, holding that LUBA precedent does not stand for the principle that “primary mining activities that occur only in the [Aggregate Resource] zone are themselves subject to the WR zone conditional use standards.” LUBA, however, agreed with Del Rio that the hearings officer failed to address its arguments regarding JCLDO 1.7.6 and 1.8.2(a). Sustaining Del Rio’s third assignment of error, LUBA required that on remand, the county consider whether the appropriate JCLDO sections Del Rio cited require the denial of the application. LUBA also agreed with Del Rio that the hearings officer improperly shifted the burden of proof from the intervenor-respondent to Del Rio regarding the impact of dust created by stockpiling and hauling activities. LUBA further agreed with Del Rio that the hearings officer’s conclusion that the transportation systems are adequate was not supported by substantial evidence in the record. Finally, LUBA determined that the hearings officer erred in concluding that that application met JCLDO 3.1.4(B)(3)(b). REMANDED.