Land Watch Lane County v. Lane County and the City of Coburg

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 08-01-2016
  • Case #: 2016-003/004
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

Directive 4, Goal 9 of Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals, which requires that local governments “[l]imit uses on or near sites zoned for specific industrial and commercial uses to those which are compatible with proposed uses,” is restricted to “specific commercial or industrial uses with special site requirements,” and in order for directive 4 of Goal 9 to be applicable, it must be demonstrated that the relevant zoning requirements apply.

Landwatch of Lane County and Lee D. Kersten (petitioners) appealed two lane county ordinances that amended the county’s rural comprehensive plan, the transportation system plan (TSP), and the urban growth boundary (UGB). Lane County and the City of Coburg (respondents) sought expansion of the UGB via these ordinances due to projected population growth. The TSP amendment contained a “Proposed Future Collector” which would enable traffic to travel north of the current throughway through the Coburg North Industrial Area (Coburg NIA) to connect with Coburg Industrial Way.

Petitioners alleged four assignments of error. The first assignment alleged that the TSP did not comply with Statewide Planning Goal 9, and was not supported by “an adequate factual basis.” In support of this contention, petitioners argued that the east-west bypass “will reduce the amount of land now available for commercial and industrial uses in the Coburg NIA,” and that the county failed to account for the loss as required by Goal 9. Petitioners further alleged noncompliance with directive 4 of Goal 9, which requires that “local governments ‘[l]imit use on or near sites zoned for specific industrial and commercial uses to those which are compatible with proposed uses.’”

LUBA held that even though it is possible that the bypass will negatively impact some buildings, directive 4 of Goal 9 is not so broad, and the “specific industrial and commercial uses” that it refers to are limited to “specific commercial or industrial uses with special site requirements.” Since petitioners did not demonstrate that the zoning that applies to Coburg NIA was for “specific commercial or industrial uses with special site requirements,” LUBA determined Goal 9 was inapplicable. Despite this finding, LUBA concluded that both ordinances required remand due to their interdependence and the petitioners’ successful challenge of many findings adopted by the respondents.