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Grabhorn Inc v. Washington County

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-12-2013
Case #: A148314
Norby, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148314.pdf

Land Use: Courts may not decide land use decisions unless they fall into the exceptions listed in ORS 197.015(b). ORS 197.825 gives Land Use Board of Appeals exclusive jurisdiction over land use decisions.

Grabborn Inc. (Plaintiff) appealed the dismissal of claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. In 2007, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) notified Plaintiff that it must renew its permit. In 2009, Grabhorn submitted the 1991 Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS) as part of permit renewal process. The DEQ and County made a determination that a new LUCS was needed because Grabhorn had switched from a landfill and recycling center to a composting center. Grabhorn filed for declaratory and injunctive relief establishing the 1991 LUCS as valid and that there was no further county regulation needed. The trial court dismissed both the declaratory judgment and the injunctive relief claim for lack of jurisdiction, claiming it was a land use decision. The Court of Appeals held that a claim seeking a land use decision was outside the trial court’s jurisdiction and was not made moot by a subsequent land use decision. Affirmed