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Greenfield v. Multnomah County

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-04-2013
Case #: A154667
Sercombe, J. for the court; Ortega, P.J.; Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A154667.pdf

Land Use: Under the farm stand statute, ORS 215.283, outdoor farm-to-plate dinners may be within the scope of the statute and food carts are considered "structures."

Bella Organic, LLC (Bella), was granted a modification on its farm stand permit by Multnomah County (County), over the objections of Greenfield and others.  Under the permit, Bella can sell produce through a farm stand at its farm, which is zoned for exclusive farm use.  Review of the modification was heard by the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), and subsequently remanded to the county.  Bella, Greenfield, and the county sought review of the LUBA decision.  The question in front of the Court of Appeals, concerned the scope of the farm stand statute's allowance of "fee-based activities to promote the sale of farm crops . . . sold at the farm stand," and whether there are limitations on the use of farm stand structures.  The farm stand statute, ORS 315.238, authorizes 1) structures that are "designed and used for the sale of farm crops and livestock" that are grown on the farm where the stand is located; 2) two uses that are incidental to the sale of farm crops and livestock at the stand; 3) the structure cannot be designed for any activity other than the sale of farm crops and livestock; and 4) incidental retail sales cannot account for more than 25% of total annual sales from the stand.  Under Bella's modified permit from the county, Bella's farm stand was permitted to engage in fee-based farm stand activities, including fee-based farm-to-plate dinners and special events, during which food carts could be used.  The Court of Appeals held that outdoor farm-to-plate dinners may be allowed within the scope of the statute; food carts are "structures" under the statute and must be "designed and used for the sale of farm crops or livestock grown on the farm operation;" if food carts meet that standard, LUBA erred in its decision to limit the number of food carts used by Bella; and LUBA did not err by allowing "small-scale gatherings such as birthdays, picnics, and similar activities."  The county's petition was reversed and remanded in part, otherwise affirmed; Greenfield's cross-petition was reversed and remanded in part, otherwise affirmed; and Bella's cross-petition was affirmed.