Grimstad v. Deschutes County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 09-29-2016
  • Case #: 2016-035
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Bassham
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 197.835(11)(b) only allows LUBA to overlook inadequate findings when the evidentiary record “clearly supports” the county’s decision.

     Paul Grimstad (petitioner) appealed a county decision concluding that a tract of land included three legal “lots of record” under the county code. In 1973 three parcels located within the Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) zone, each different tax lots, were transferred or contracted to be transferred; Parcel 1, via warranty deed, and Parcels 2 and 3 via land sale contract.

     Following intervenor’s request, a 2015 Lot of Record decision concluded that tax lot 700 included three legal lots of record. Based on the 2015 decision, intervenor applied to the county for a property line adjustment, which was approved. As a result of the 2016 survey, the intervenor discovered that a portion of the petitioner’s driveway was located on tax lot 700. 

     Petitioner alleged six assignments of error. His second and third assignments challenged the county’s decision that Parcel 2 was a Lot of Record since the document lacked signature and date as required by Deschutes County Code (DCC) 18.04.030. Petitioner also alleged that the document did not contain a separate legal description, and if it was deemed to have a description, it described more than one unit of land, in violation of 18.04.030. Intervenor responded that even if the record was insufficient, LUBA should affirm under ORS 197.835(11)(b). LUBA disagreed with intervenor, finding ORS 197.835(11)(b) only allows LUBA to overlook inadequate findings when the evidentiary record “clearly supports” the decision. LUBA found no evidence in the record that clearly supported the county’s conclusion that the 1973 land sale contract was the instrument that rendered Parcel 2 a Lot of Record. LUBA determined remand was necessary for the county to reconsider whether Parcel 2 and Parcel X exist as separate units of land and whether they qualify as Lots of Record as defined by DDC 18.04.030. REMANDED.