Sarett v. Lane County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 11-08-2017
  • Case #: 2017-055
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Bassham
  • Full Text Opinion

LC 13.450(4) applies only to a proposal to adjust a single property line, and does not apply to proposals for serial or multiple property line adjustments.

Intervenor owns six contiguous parcels zoned for forest use, ranging in size from 20 acres to 96.4 acres, totaling approximately 244 acres. On August 7, 2014, intervenor filed an application with the county seeking approval of an indeterminate number of property line adjustments. The resulting reconfiguration shows that five of the parcels are reduced in size to less than five acres, and clustered together near a county road, leaving an expanded 224.5-acre parcel to the south. A county planner processed the application under Lane Code (LC) 13.450(4)(c), which allows the application for a property line adjustment to obtain “ministerial” approval of a property line adjustment, meaning approval without notice or hearing. Petitioner owns an adjacent parcel located near where the reduced size parcels are clustered. The application was approved on August 11, 2014 and on May 19, 2017 petitioner filed this appeal.

Under the first sub-assignment of error, petitioner argues that the county committed procedural error prejudicial to petitioner, in processing the application under the provisions for a ministerial decision under LC 13.450(4) rather than the provisions under LC 13.450(5), which provide notice to adjoining property owners and opportunity to comment. In Bowerman v. Lane, the court of appeals held that LC 13.450(4) applies only to a proposal to adjust a single property line, and does not apply to proposals for serious or multiple property line adjustments. Intervenor does not dispute that the county committed procedural error in that regard, but intervenor argues that petitioner is precluded from advancing any challenge to the August 11, 2014 decision, because petitioner’s appeal represents a “collateral attack” on an unappealed decision. Further, intervenor argues that petitioner was sent notice of the April 28, 2017 legal lot verification, and could have appeared in that proceeding and appealed it locally or to LUBA. LUBA rejected intervenor’s argument because the April 28, 2017 legal lot verification was not focused on verifying or approving the configuration of the parcels at issue, or to re-approve the 2014 property line adjustments. Accordingly, the August 11, 2014 decision must be remanded for the county to follow the correct procedure. REMANDED.