Lake Oswego Preservation Society v. City of Lake Oswego

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 08-04-2016
  • Case #: S063048
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Balmer, C.J. for the Court; Kistler, J.; Walters, J.; Landau, J.; Baldwin, J.; & Brewer, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 197.772, a property owner may exercise its right to remove a historic designation from its property if it meets two requirements: (1) “establish that it was the owner of the property at the time that it was designated;” and (2) “establish that the designation was imposed on the property by the local government.”

A decision of the Court of Appeals that reversed a Land Use Board decision was petitioned to the Supreme Court. On review, the issue presented was: “If a local historic designation is imposed on a property and that property is then conveyed to another owner, may the successor remove that designation under ORS 197.772(3)?” ORS 197.772, the historic property designation consent statute, permitted owners of properties slated for local historic designation to refuse to consent to that designation and remove the designation from the property. The owners of the property at issue here sought to remove it from the local government’s list of historic landmarks but the Land Use Board concluded “that the right to remove imposed designations does not apply to successors-in-interest like the owners in this case.” After conducting extensive statutory construction analysis, the Court concluded that, in order to exercise their rights under ORS 197.772, property owners must meet two requirements: (1) “establish that [they were] the owner of the property at the time that it was designated;” and (2) “establish that the designation was imposed on the property by the local government.” The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed and Land Use Board affirmed.

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