Central Oregon Landwatch v. Deschutes County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 10-12-2017
  • Case #: 2017-069
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 197.015(10)(b)(A), a land use decision includes a decision of a local government that is made under land use standards that do not require interpretation or the exercise of policy or legal judgment. DCC 4.12.030 is a general code and is not part of the county’s zoning ordinance or “land use standard” within the meaning of ORS 197.015(10)(b)(A).

The challenged decision is the 2017 Resolution that set the same fees the county adopted in the 2016 Resolution. However, the 2017 appeal fee includes an increase from $2600 to $2665 based on the consumer price index (CPI) pursuant to DCC 4.12.030. The central issue on appeal concerns whether the Resolution is a “land use decision” as defined by ORS 197.015(a) and is under LUBA’s jurisdiction.

The 2017 Resolution increased appeal fees to account for inflation, as mandated under DCC 4.12.030.  The application of DCC 4.12.03 in the 2017 Resolution did not require interpretation or exercise of policy or legal judgment, because the county only adjusted fees for inflation based on the CPI. Regardless of whether there is an error in adjusting some fees for inflation mandated under DCC 4.12.030, the decision does not convert into one that requires interpretation or the exercise of policy or legal judgment. The county’s 2017 decision did not involve land use standards and is excluded from LUBA’s jurisdiction under ORS 197.015(b)(A).  Therefore, pursuant to ORS 34.102 and OAR 661-010-0075(11), the motion to transfer this appeal to circuit court is granted. TRANSFERRED.