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LAND IRREVOCABLY COMMITTED TO NON-RESOURCE USES

Written by the Land Use Committee on 10/27/03

Rural Residential Uses Rather Than Farm Or Forest Uses1

Goals 3 (Agricultural Lands) and 4 (Forest Lands) broadly define agricultural and forest lands and require that rural lands that fall within those definitions be planned and zoned to protect those lands for farm and forest use. There are four ways that rural lands may be planned and zoned for rural residential use, rather than for farm or forest uses.

First, a built exception may be approved, where "The land subject to the exception is physically developed to the extent that it is no longer available for uses allowed by the applicable goal." ORS 197.732(1)(a); OAR 660-004-0025(1).

Second, an irrevocably committed exception may be approved, where "The land subject to the exception is irrevocably committed as described by Land Conservation and Development Commission rule to uses not allowed by the applicable goal because existing adjacent uses and other relevant factors make uses allowed by the applicable goal impracticable." ORS 197.732(1)(b); OAR 660-004-0028(1).

Third, a reasons exception may be approved.[ORS 197.732(1)(c); OAR 660-004-0020(2) & 0022]

Finally, where rural lands do not qualify as "agricultural lands" or "forest lands," as those terms are defined by Goals 3 and 4, those lands may be zoned for rural residential or other rural nonresource uses without approving an exception to Goals 3 and 4.

Land Irrevocably Committed To Nonresource Uses

ORS 197.732(1)(b)

"The land subject to the exception is irrevocably committed as described by Land Conservation and Development Commission rule to uses not allowed by the applicable goal because existing adjacent uses and other relevant factors make uses allowed by the applicable goal impracticable."

Oregon Statewide Goal 2, Part II(b)

OAR 660-004-0018(2)(b)

OAR 660-004-0028

The purpose of an irrevocably committed exception is to allow acknowledged resource property (i.e., property that has been acknowledged to be physically appropriate for resource uses) to be used for nonresource purposes when uses on adjacent property and "other relevant factors" render the property irrevocably committed to nonresource uses. DLCD v. Curry County, 33 Or LUBA 313 (1997); Brown v. Jefferson County, 33 Or LUBA 418 (1997).

Disclaimer. This brochure is as much about providing information and provoking questions as it is about opinions concerning the adequacy of findings of fact and land use decisions. It does not provide recommendations to citizens and it is not legal advice. It does not take the place of a lawyer. If citizens use information contained in this paper, its their personal responsibility to make sure that the facts and general information contained in it are applicable to their situation.

More Information

Ultimate Question. The ultimate question under OAR 660-004-0028 and ORS 197.732(1)(b), as applied here, is whether the subject property is irrevocably committed to uses not permitted by Goal 3 because existing adjacent uses and other relevant factors makes farm use impracticable. An irrevocably committed exception must be based on "findings of fact and a statement of reasons" demonstrating that the standard is met. ORS 197.732(4). On review of a decision approving an exception, LUBA must determine whether the local government’s findings and reasons demonstrate that the standards of ORS 197.732(1) have or have not been met. ORS 197.732(6)(b). Further, LUBA must adopt a clear statement of reasons setting forth the basis for our determination that the standards of ORS 197.732(1) have or have not been met. ORS 197.732(6)(c). Friends of Linn County v. Linn County, 41 Or LUBA 358 (2002).

The impracticability standard is a demanding one.

Farm Use. For an exception to Goal 3 it must be demonstrated that "Farm Use" activities as defined in ORS 215.203 are impracticable (see brochure, Profit In Farm Use & Irrevocably Committed, October 17, 2003).

Findings Of Fact. There are seven findings of fact required [OAR 660-004-0028(6)] for a committed exception.

More Information. Would you like to learn more about citizen involvement in land use planning? Contact a member of the land use committee.

1. Friends of Linn County v. Linn County, LUBA No. 2002-015, (2002).

 

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