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Papworth v. DLCD

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-13-2013
Case #: A148790
Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong P.J.; and Brewer, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148790.pdf

Land Use: Under Section 6(6)(f) of Measure 49, a landowner is not allowed to build more home sites on her property if, at the owner's acquisition date, the zoning ordinance did not allow for the establishment of more dwellings even if a "sunset provision" was present in the zoning ordinance.

Papworth appealed a decision affirming an order from the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). Papworth claimed that his neighbor (Claimant) did not sufficiently meet the requirements of Measure 49, section 6(6)(f) when Claimant applied for three home sites on her property. Claimant acquired the land in 1973 with only one home site on the property. In 1973, Claimant was not allowed build more houses until a "sunset" provision in the local law applied at a later date. Section 6(6) of Measure 49 says that "[o]n the claimant's acquisition date, the claimant lawfully was permitted to establish at least the number of lots, parcels or dwellings on the property that are authorized under this section." Papworth argued that Claimant was not allowed to build more homes because on her acquisition date, the law did not allow the establishment of three home sites until after a "sunset provision" went into effect. DLCD argued that claimant was allowed to build the home sites because the law at the time allowed for lots to be built after the acquisition date via the "sunset provision." The Court of Appeals held that Claimant did not have a right to build more dwellings on the property because she was, in plain language, prohibited from doing so at the actual time the property was purchased. Reversed and remanded.