Devlin v. Linn County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 02-21-2017
  • Case #: 2016-093
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Holstun
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 197.015(10)(b)(A), LUBA does not have jurisdiction over a land use decision if it is made under land use standards that do not require interpretation or the exercise of policy or legal judgment; determining that a property is zoned industrial does not require interpretation or the exercise of policy or legal judgment.

     Intervenors own and operate an existing wrecking yard on their property. Intervenors, however, did not obtain the required Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) business certificate, which gives intervenors authority to dismantle motor vehicles. Petitioners own property that adjoins intervenors’ wrecking yard. Intervenors and petitioners have had a long-running dispute about whether the wrecking yard encroaches onto petitioners’ adjoining property. Intervenors eventually filed an application with the county for the business certificate. The board of commissioners decided to separate the property line dispute from the DMV wrecking business certificate, and approved the application. Petitioners filed this appeal.

     Intervenors challenged petitioners’ standing and argued that this decision may not be reviewed by LUBA because it falls under ORS 197.015(10)(b), one of the exceptions to the statutory definition of “land use decision.” ORS 197.015(10)(b)(A) provides that a land use decision does not include a decision “that is made under land use standards that do not require interpretation or the exercise of policy or legal judgment.” In intervenors’ application for a DMV business certificate, the only land use standard the county was required to apply was the county’s Light Industrial zone.

     For purposes of ORS 197.015(10)(b)(A), determining that the property is zoned industrial did not require “interpretation or the exercise of policy or legal judgment,” because it is clear from the documents submitted by intervenors that the property is zoned for industrial use. Since the decision was made under land use standards that do not require interpretation or the exercise of policy or legal judgment, the decision qualifies for the exception set out at ORS 197.015(10)(b)(A). LUBA determined it did not have jurisdiction to review the decision. DISMISSED.