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Weber Coastal Bells v. Metro

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-16-2012
Case #: S059872
De Muniz, C.J., for the Court; en banc
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/sites/Publications/S059872.pdf

Land Use: Metro did not exceed its statutory authority when it approved a land use order on the basis of political necessity because the act that granted it authority for such approval did not state otherwise.

The Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) affirmed a land use final order by Metro. The final order approved several highway improvements and involved construction of a light rail line from Oregon to Washington. Weber Coastal Bells (WCB) argued that Metro exceeded its statutory authority in adopting the order, or, alternatively, that it is not supported by substantial evidence. WCB contended that Metro's approval of the project, which they argued was based on a compromise between Oregon and Washington, was an impermissible basis. The Oregon Supreme Court concluded that the 1996 act, which was enacted to aid the highway construction project, did not limit approval authority of the project to engineering necessities. Therefore, it was permissible for Metro to approve highway improvements that political realities made necessary to the light rail project. The Court also determined that political necessity comprised substantial evidence in this case. Affirmed.