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State v. Clatsop County

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-02-2012
Case #: A144073
Brewer, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144073a.pdf

Property Law: When calculating the expenditure ratio to determine whether there is a common law vested right to complete a residential subdivision in compliance with county and state waivers issued pursuant to Ballot Measure 37, a court must include the cost of building homes on the property as of the effective date of Measure 49.

The Department of Land Conservation (DLCD) appealed the Circuit Court’s ruling allowing the Carlsons to complete the development of their property. Prior to the passing of Measure 49, the Carlsons sought to develop and divide their 75.65-acre plot. After Measure 49 passed, the Carlsons applied for land-use waivers that would allow them to continue to develop their property so long as their rights had vested per a vested right expenditure ratio. The deciding director, by including the cost of building homes on the property into the vested right expenditure ratio, denied the waivers. The Carlsons appealed to the Board of Commissioners (Board). The Board did not include the cost of homes into the ratio and granted the waivers. The DLCD sought review by the Circuit Court, which affirmed the Board’s decision. DLCD appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the Circuit Court’s ruling, holding that when calculating the vested right expenditure ratio, a court must include the total project cost including the cost of building homes on the property. Reversed and remanded.