Central Oregon Landwatch v. Deschutes County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 12-06-2016
  • Case #: 2016-065
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Bassham
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 197.450 expressly allows for the “siting of a destination resort” on rural lands without taking an exception to the applicable statewide planning goals, if the resort is in accordance with all applicable statutes.

     The petitioner appealed county approval of an expansion to an existing destination resort, alleging seven assignments of error. Deschutes County Code (DCC) 18.113.025 provides that the county may approve an expansion of an existing destination resort if (1) the expansion meets all requirements for a destination resort, or (2) the expansion, considered with the existing facilities, meets all requirements for a destination resort. Intervenor sought approval under the second option (DCC 18.113.025(B)). The petitioner argued that DCC 18.113.025(B) is inconsistent with ORS 197.435 to 197.467 (destination resort statutes), since the statutes do not authorize expansion when the destination resort does not independently meet the destination resort requirements. The petitioner further argued that express statutory authority is needed for expansion of an existing destination resort that is located on resource land, especially when the expansion constitutes a new rural residential subdivision which is otherwise prohibited without an exception. The intervenor responded that a better reading of the destination resort statutes is that the statutes implicitly allow expansion if the expanded resort continues to meet all applicable standards.

     LUBA held that express statutory authorization is necessary to approve residential development, such as this, on rural resource land, without an exception. However, ORS 197.450 allows for a destination resort on rural lands without taking an exception to the statewide planning goals if the resort complies with applicable statutes. LUBA determined that Goal 8 allowed residential development as part of a destination resort, and did not contain maximum dwelling limits or sizes, and explicitly allowed for resorts to be approved in phases. LUBA denied the first assignment of error and rejected that the destination resort statutes do not authorize any expansion of an existing resort, but further held that the resort must continue to meet all applicable standards required under DCC 18.113.025. REMANDED.