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River’s Edge Investments, LLC v. Bend

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-08-2011
Case #: A141661
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Landau, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A141661.pdf

Contract Law: A development agreement with provisions addressing exactions and system development charges (SDC) will interpret the nature of those SDC’s in the context of the agreement and not necessarily find they are exactions in the context of the agreement, unlike relevant case law.

River’s Edge sued the City of Bend, alleging a breach of a development agreement for charging system development charges (SDC). River’s Edge and Bend formed an agreement in 2004 to resolve then-pending litigation. There were two relevant provisions. The first described several types of infrastructure-related exactions of which the city would not require any more, unless certain conditions were met. The second specified that when building permit applications were filed, the applicant must pay the city the SDC’s. River’s Edge argued that the first section precludes all SDC’s because state case law establishes them as a type of exaction, and the second provision only establishes what fees will be used if they are charged.. The Court of Appeals examined the text of the disputed provisions in the context of the whole agreement and found that the exactions mentioned in the first provision were easements and dedications, and did not include SDC’s. Reversed and remanded.