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2013 Land Use Legislative Wrap Up

More and more the annual Oregon land use legislative update is a story about the legislature dabbling around the edges of land use controversy that results in legislative spot zoning.

For example, House Bill 3098 started out as the Young Life Church bill to allow expansion of summer camp facilities at the Rajneeshpuram property.  It was amended to allow youth camps on low quality farmland throughout eastern Oregon.  While critics of bills that are aimed at special projects, like the Young Life Church (or another failed bill for Project Azalea - Senate Bill 845),  may claim victory, other farmland preservationists may view House Bill 3098 as eroding farmland protections because of its breadth.

One notable bill that did not pass was an industrial supersiting bill, House Bill 3267, aimed at areas outside the urban growth boundary in Malheur County because critics faulted the House’s passage of the bill without a public hearing.  A few industrial supersiting bills did pass – Senate Bills 246 and 253 that set forth standards for supersiting, and more industrial lands bills are expected in next year’s session.

Senate Bill 77 started out as a bill that would have meant mayhem for parties to LUBA appeals because it called for abnormal timelines for argument before LUBA based on where an application was in the local review process.  Fortunately, for land use practitioners, amendments were made to the bill to omit any of these process changes.  Instead, the bill retained a number of statistical gathering requirements for LUBA to track and report statistics on its website:

  • The number of reviews commenced.
  • The number of reviews commenced for which a petition is filed.
  • In relation to each of those numbers, the rate at which the reviews result in a decision of the board to uphold, reverse or remand the land use decision or limited land use decision.
  • A list of petitioners, the number of reviews commenced and the rate at which the petitioner’s reviews have resulted in decisions of the board to uphold, reverse or remand the land use decision or limited land use decision.
  • A list of respondents, the number of reviews involving each respondent and the rate at which reviews involving the respondent have resulted in decisions of the board to uphold, reverse or remand the land use decision or limited land use decision.
  • Additionally, when a respondent is the local government that made the land use decision or limited land use decision, the board shall track whether the local government appears before the board.
  • A list of reviews, and a brief summary of the circumstances in each review, under which the board exercises its discretion to require a losing party to pay the attorney fees of the prevailing party.

Given Bullet 1, it is a surprise the state legislature would include the fourth bullet point to mark petitioners with a “scarlet letter” for filing a petition within his/her/its rights under land use regulations.

Another bill of note is House Bill 2253 that claims to solve the population forecasting problem for cities and counties.  The bill tasks Portland State University's Population Research Center (PRC) with preparing population forecasts for all cities and county with an urban growth boundary except for urban portions of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties because Metro manages population forecasting in those counties. I sit on an Oregon State Bar improvement of law committee and we have ongoing concerns about notice provisions within the bill that do not clearly set forth timelines for the PRC to notify interested persons of the forecast.  Our committee will continue to work with DLCD and the PRC to encourage rulemaking to clarify the notice provisions.

For those of us on the ground, it was a busy session and many bills will impact land use practitioners across the board.  Below is an index of land use legislative bills provided by topic:


House Bill 2202:  No mining in any buffer or setback area


House Bill 2618:  Withdrawal of partial districts from the cities


Senate Bill 605:  DLCD findings requirements for Terrestrial Sea Plan and Oregon Ocean Resource Management Plan

Senate Bill 737:  Establishes Oregon Ocean Science Trust


Senate Bill 462:  Land use approvals to modify disposal sites for composting


House Bill 2393:  Allows slaughtering and selling up to 1,000 poultry as a permitted nonfarm use

House Bill 2441:  Allows agricultural buildings on land zoned forest and mixed farm and forest

House Bill 2746:  Alteration, restoration, or replacement of dwellings

House Bill 2788:  Farm Use Definitions

House Bill 2898:  Allows Police Training Facility on EFU land (some scuttle that Governor may veto – stay posted)

House Bill 3098:  Authorizes youth camps on lands with at least 1000 acres of EFU zoned land with poor soils in eastern Oregon

House Bill 3125:  Allows adjustment of minimum parcel size in certain forest use situations

Senate Bill 841:  Governs events and food service at wineries


House Bill 2105:  Standards for siting, construction, operating and retirement of energy facilities

House Bill 2106:  Modifies EFSC provisions for siting, construction operating and retirement of energy facilities

House Bill 2203:  Notifications required for transmission line applications

House Bill 2694:  Requires shared information re development of ocean energy sources

House Bill 2704:  Requires showing that transmission line in area zoned EFU is necessary for public service

House Bill 2820:  Modifies definition of energy facility for purposes of site certificates issued by EFSC

Senate Bill 606:  Financial assure regarding closure of wave energy facility or                 device


Senate Bill 246:  Development of certified regionally significant industrial sites

Senate Bill 253:  Creates Oregon Industrial Readiness Assessment Program


Senate Bill 77:  Land use review statistics

Senate Bill 5531:  LUBA Budget


House Bill 2839:  Amendments regarding industrial rezoning


Senate Bill 260:  Bicycle and pedestrian projects can receive funds from the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund

Senate Bill 408:  Approach permits for ODOT Right-of-way


House Bill 2253:  Portland State University to issue population forecasts

House Bill 2254:  Provides option for cities outside Metro area to revise UGB and includes 18 month time period for DLCD rulemaking


House Bill 2632:  Tax rates concerning urban renewal










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