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Willamette Oaks, LLC v. City of Eugene

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-17-2011
Case #: A148149
Armstrong, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A148149.pdf

Administrative Law: A petitioner must meet his burden to establish a prima facie case that the appeal violated a statute in order to make a fee challenge.

June 2009, Goodpasture Partners, LLC applied and was approved for a planned unit development (PUD) by the city of Eugene. Willamette Oaks, LLC appealed and was charged a fee for the appeal based on a fee schedule that had been legislatively adopted. The Land Use Board of Appeals’ (LUBA) determined that it was unreasonable to expect fee challengers to make a prima facie case during the open record as required by law and thus remanded the case. The city assigns error to LUBA’s decision based on lack of authority to consider whether the city’s appeal fee was a violation. It argued that the decision to adopt a fee schedule is outside LUBA’s powers. The Court of Appeals addressed the city’s contention that LUBA erred in remanding the case to the city to take evidence on the appeal fee issue. The Court determined that the issues here were reviewability and development of factual records. Because LUBA did not identify a legal basis for its remand, the Court reversed.