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State v. Linn County

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-02-2012
Case #: A144528
Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144528.pdf

Land Use: When determining vested rights expenditure ratios, dedications may be included in the numerator. For the denominator, a court must use a total project cost, not a hypothetical cost.

The State of Oregon through the Department of Land Conversation and Development (DLCD) appealed a judgment reversing a vested right. Eugene and Viola Glender owned land in Linn County. In 2005, developers optioned to purchase the Glenders’ property. The Glenders sought and obtained Measure 37 waivers. Following the county’s recording of the Glenders’ plat, the county’s Planning and Building denied the vested right. The Linn County Board of Commissioners, using the Clackamas Co. v. Holmes standard granted the vested right. DLCD requested a write of review from the county circuit court. The circuit court reversed and remanded under an asserted deficiencies analysis. Both parties appealed. The Court of Appeals based its analysis on Friends II, which stated the expenditure ratio is one of many factors when determining a common law vested right. Friends II also stated the “county needed to find the ultimate cost of construction” and the ratio between project costs and landowner costs. Hence, the writ of review court erred when it used a hypothetical cost and the county erred when it failed in determining the total project cost. Additionally, expenditures to the county, such as dedications must be included in the ratio. Affirmed on appeal; on cross-appeal, reversed and remanded with instructions to enter judgment reversing the county’s decision and remanding for consideration in light of Friends of Yamhill County v. Board of Commissioners, 351 Or 219, 264 P3d 1265 (2011).