GPA 1, LLC v. City of Corvallis

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 06-15-2016
  • Case #: 2016-013
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 197.835(10)(a)(A) LUBA must reverse a local government decision and order a local government to approve an application for development if LUBA finds that the local government decision is outside the range of discretion allowed to the local government per the city’s comprehensive plan.

The petitioner, GPA 1, LLC (GPA), appealed a city decision denying its application to extend an arterial road through its townhome development. Kings Boulevard currently runs through a portion of the southern part of the property, and terminates north of the southern boundary. In 2000, the city council approved a Kings Boulevard extension through the development in the approximate location as showing in petitioner’s application. In March, 2014, GPA dedicated a right of way to the city. In 2015 GPA applied for subdivision approval but the city determined that the 2014 Dedication did not have the effect of fixing the exact location of the road, because the road had not yet been reviewed for compliance with applicable provisions. Both the planning commission and the city council denied the application.

GPA argued that the denial was outside the range of city discretion because the city approved the location in the 2014 Dedication. LUBA ruled that GPA failed to establish that the city is precluded from requiring review for compliance with the Corvallis Land Development Code (LDC) criteria just because the city approved the 2014 Dedication. LUBA also disagreed with GPA that the 2014 dedication acceptance makes the location a “standard” under ORS 227.178(3)(a), since the 2014 Dedication is not set forth in the LDC.

GPA’s second assignment of error claimed that the development is “needed housing” as defined in ORS 197.303(1) and that the city must apply clear and objective standards. The City responded that the application does not propose “needed housing” according to ORS 197.307(4), LUBA agreed, since “needed housing” does not refer to roads.

GPA also asserted that when a local government denies an application the findings must be sufficient to inform the applicant what steps are necessary to obtain approval. LUBA agreed, requiring more direction be given. REMANDED.