What Is Land Use?

Oregon’s passage of SB 100 in 1973, under the leadership of Governor Tom McCall, established our statewide land use planning system and led to the creation of 19 goals.

Our thoughts today, and our deliberations to come, must spring from our determination to keep Oregon lovable and to make it even more livable.

-Tom McCall, Oregon governor and cofounder of 1000 Friends of Oregon

Goal 1. Citizen Involvement

Calls for "the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the planning process." Each city and county must have a citizen involvement program containing 6 specified components. Local governments must have a committee for citizen involvement (CCI) to monitor and encourage public participation in planning.

Goal 2. Land Use Planning

Outlines the basic procedures of Oregon's statewide planning program. It says that land use decisions are to made in accordance with a comprehensive plan, and that suitable "implementation ordinances" to put the plan's policies into effect must be adopted. It requires that plans be based on "factual information;" that local plans and ordinances be coordinated with those of other jurisdictions and agencies; and that plans be reviewed periodically and amended as needed. Goal 2 also contains standards for taking exceptions to statewide goals. An exception may be taken when a statewide goal cannot or should not be applied to a particular area or situation.

Goal 3. Agricultural Lands

If you've heard the terms "exclusive farm use" or EFU lands, this goal is the reason. It states that agricultural lands will be "preserved and maintained for farm use, consistent with existing and future needs for agricultural products, forest, and open space," and requires counties to inventory such lands.

Goal 4. Forest Lands

Defines forest lands and requires counties to inventory them and adopt policies and ordinances that will "conserve forest lands for forest uses."

Goal 5. Open Spaces, Scenic and Historic Areas, and Natural Resources

Covers more than a dozen natural and cultural resources such as wildlife habitats and wetlands. Establishes a process for each resource to be inventoried and evaluated. If a resource or site is found to be significant, local government has 3 policy choices: preserve the resource, allow proposed uses that conflict with it, or strike some sort of balance between the resource and the uses that would conflict with it.

Goal 6. Air, Water, and Land Resources Quality

Requires local comprehensive plans and implementing measures to be consistent with state and federal regulations on matters such as groundwater pollution.

Goal 7. Areas Subject to Natural Disasters and Hazards

Deals with development in places subject to natural hazards such as floods or landslides. It requires that jurisdictions apply "appropriate safeguards" (floodplain zoning, for example) when planning for development there.

Goal 8. Recreation Needs

Calls for each community to evaluate its areas and facilities for recreation and develop plans to deal with the projected demand for them. It also sets forth detailed standards for expedited siting of destination resorts.

Goal 9.Economic Development

Calls for diversification and improvement of the economy. It asks communities to inventory commercial and industrial lands, project future needs for such lands, and plan and zone enough land to meet those needs.

Goal 10. Housing

Specifies that each city must plan for and accommodate needed housing types, such as multifamily and manufactured housing. It requires each city to inventory its buildable residential lands, project future needs for such lands, and plan and zone enough buildable land to meet those needs. It also prohibits local plans from discriminating against needed housing types.

Goal 11. Public Facilities and Services

Calls for efficient planning of public services such as sewers, water, law enforcement, and fire protection. Central concept is that public services should to be planned in accordance with a community's needs and capacities rather than be forced to respond to development as it occurs.

Goal 12. Transportation

Aims to provide "a safe, convenient and economic transportation system." It asks for communities to address the needs of the "transportation disadvantaged."

Goal 13. Energy

Declares that "land and uses developed on the land shall be managed and controlled so as to maximize the conservation of all forms of energy, based upon sound economic principles."

Goal 14. Urbanization

Requires cities to estimate future growth and needs for land and then plan and zone enough land to meet those needs. It calls for each city to establish an "urban growth boundary" (UGB) to "identify and separate urbanizable land from rural land." It specifies 7 factors that must be considered in drawing up a UGB. It also lists 4 criteria to be applied when undeveloped land within a UGB is to be converted to urban uses.

Goal 15. Willamette Greenway

Sets forth procedures for administering the 300 miles of greenway that protects the Willamette River. Learn more from organizations like Willamette Riverkeeper and the Williamette River Initiative.

Goal 16. Estuarine Resources

Requires local governments to classify Oregon's 22 major estuaries in four categories: natural, conservation, shallow-draft development, and deep-draft development. It then describes types of land uses and activities that are permissible in those "management units."

Goal 17. Coastal Shorelands

Defines a planning area bounded by the ocean beaches on the west and the coast highway (US 101) on the east. It specifies how certain types of land and resources there are to be managed: major marshes, for example, are to be protected. Sites best suited for unique coastal land uses (port facilities, for example) are reserved for "water-dependent" or "water-related" uses.

Goal 18. Beaches and Dunes

Sets planning standards for development on various types of dunes. It prohibits residential development on beaches and active foredunes, but allows some other types of development if they meet key criteria. The goal also deals with dune grading, groundwater drawdown in dunal aquifers, and the breaching of foredunes.

Goal 19. Ocean Resources

Aims "to conserve the long-term values, benefits, and natural resources of the nearshore ocean and the continental shelf." It deals with matters such as dumping of dredge spoils and discharging of waste products into the open sea. Goal 19's main requirements are for state agencies rather than cities and counties.

Does Oregon need a Goal 20 for climate?

We aren't opposed to the idea. In the meantime, we also think that the 19 land use planning goals we've already got just happen to make good climate strategy.