Oregon Coast Alliance v. Clatsop County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 04-21-2017
  • Case #: 2016-108
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 215.060 requires that, prior to action regarding the county’s comprehensive plan, a county’s governing body must conduct hearings after at least 10 days’ advance notice of “each of the hearings” is published in a newspaper. Hearings for which no published notice was given may comply with ORS 215.060 when such hearings are continuations of prior hearings held pursuant to published notice.

Petitioners appeal a Clatsop County Board of Commissioners’ decision to approve an amendment to the Clatsop County Comprehensive Plan to discontinue the use of the Southwest Coastal Advisory Committee. This committee is a community body, which reviews development proposals and makes recommendations to the county planning commission concerning design and scenic view aspects of proposed development.

Petitioners allege that the county failed to follow correct notice procedures prior to the board of county commissioners’ decision. ORS 215.060 requires that actions regarding the county’s comprehensive plan by the governing body of a county shall have no legal effect unless the governing body conducts one or more public hearings and unless 10 days’ advance public notice of each of the hearings is published in a newspaper. Here, the county published newspaper notices of two planning commission hearings prior to the board of county commissioners’ hearing. In addition, the county announced the upcoming board of county commissioners’ hearing in staff reports available at the planning commission hearings. No other notice of the board of commissioners’ hearing was published.

Respondent argued that the county’s notice was sufficient, and that LUBA has held that newspaper notice of a series of board of commissioners’ hearings constitutes acceptable notice under ORS 215.060. In those cases, the hearings occurred without published notice, but were continuations of prior hearings held pursuant to published notice. Here, LUBA agreed with petitioners that the facts of the present appeal are distinguishable, because this hearing was not a continuation of the earlier planning commission hearings. It was a separate hearing, for which ORS 216.060 notice was required and not given. Petitioners are not required to demonstrate prejudice to their substantial rights where the county failed to demonstrate compliance with ORS 215.060. REMANDED.