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Protect Grand Island Farms v. Yamhill County

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 04-04-2012
Case #: A149819
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A149819.pdf

Land Use: Under Statewide Planning Goal 5, OAR 660-023-0180(3)(d)(B)(ii), the phrase “average thickness of the aggregate layer within the mining area” is intended to refer to the average depth of all the mineable aggregate within the resource site, regardless of whether that aggregate is physically discontinuous.

Protect Grand Island Farms (PGIF) sought judicial review of a final order of the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) affirming a Yamhill County ordinance adding 224.5 acres to its inventory of mineral and aggregate resources under Statewide Planning Goal 5. PGIF argued that the site should not have been included because the “average thickness of the aggregate layer within the mining area” did not exceed 25 feet as required by OAR 660-023-0180(3)(d)(B)(ii). PGIF contended that the county and LUBA improperly applied the rule by treating two distinct aggregate layers that were separated by a layer of clay as a single layer. The Court found that because the rule permits the destruction of farmland for mining where the depth of the aggregate is substantial, it made no sense to prevent mining of a deep deposit of aggregate merely because it also contained areas of non-aggregate. Affirmed.