We litigate cases to enforce and uphold the land use planning system. In coordination with local organizations that we serve through our affiliate program and our Cooperating Attorney Program, our Rural Lands Attorneys also provide pro bono legal resources and representation to Oregonians in land use cases consistent with our mission.
1. Conte. v. City of Eugene (Land Use Board of Appeals)
State law requires all cities over 2500 in population to allow accessory dwelling units on all single family residential lots. Eugene failed to meet state law twice, by enacting ADU code provisions that did not comply with the law by requiring, among other things, various siting and design provisions. Therefore, the Land Use Board of Appeals sent two decisions back to the city. Eugene finally adopted a compliant code in October 2022. Opponents appealed Eugene’s decision, claiming it violated maximum density standards, among other things. We joined the case to defend the City of Eugene, representing 1000 Friends of Oregon, AARP Oregon, and Better Housing Together.
Status: LUBA affirmed the City of Eugene, 1000 Friends and other intervenors
Counsel: Alexis Biddle representing 1000 Friends of Oregon, AARP Oregon, and Better Housing Together
2. Friends of Yamhill County v. Yamhill County (Land Use Board of Appeals)
Represented by 1000 Friends, Friends of Yamhill County appealed Yamhill County's approval of a conditional use permit that would allow construction of a public road across land zoned for exclusive farm use. If constructed, the road would facilitate the development of subdivisions on rural land, taking agricultural land out of production and contributing to unsustainable urban sprawl.
Status: At Court of Appeals, waiting for decision
Counsel: Dan Lawler representing Friends of Yamhill County.
3. Friends of Marion County v. Marion County (Land Use Board of Appeals)
Friends of Marion County and the Department of Land Conservation and Development challenged Marion County's decision to permit what the applicant describes as money-losing educational field trips as a commercial activity in conjunction with farm use. The details of this particular application push the requirements of a commercial activity in conjunction with farm use to their breaking point. The applicant failed to demonstrate that its proposal would actually operate "in conjunction with" and "enhance" the farm use of the property and other local farm operations.
Status: Awaiting decision from LUBA.
Counsel: Andrew Mulkey on behalf of Friends of Marion County.
4. 1000 Friends of Oregon v. Clackamas County (Oregon Court of Appeals)
Clackamas County appealed LUBA's decision to remand a county legislative plan amendment that would have allowed any dwelling in the unincorporated parts of the county to operate — without a permit — as a hotel or vacation rental. At LUBA, 1000 Friends and Dennis Tylka successfully argued that the county's decision violated state law. The county’s decision violated protections for farm and forest land as well as provisions of the county's own zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan. On appeal, Mr. Tylka cross-petitioned, arguing that LUBA's decision misinterprets Goal 2's requirements that a change to the zoning ordinance must have some basis or underpinning in the comprehensive plan.
Status: Court of Appeals issued a winning decision.
Counsel: Andrew Mulkey on behalf of 1000 Friends of Oregon.
5. Friends of Douglas County v. Douglas County (Oregon Court of Appeals)
Friends of Douglas County is appealing LUBA's decision to uphold Douglas County's approval of a destination resort on land zoned for exclusive farm use. The subject property contains an existing personal use airport and state law prohibits use of personal use airports for non-agricultural commercial use purposes. Friends of Douglas County’s appeal attempts to prevent use of the airport in conjunction with the destination resort, ensuring consistency with state law and limiting impacts to surrounding rural properties.
Status: Court of Appeals affirmed LUBA's decision without opinion, waiting decision on request for reconsideration.
Counsel: Dan Lawler representing Friends of Douglas County.
6. 1000 Friends of Oregon v. Josephine County (Land Use Board of Appeals)
1000 Friends of Oregon and Rogue Advocates challenged Josephine County's decision to rezone 87 acres of forest land to non-resource for a residential subdivision with 5-acre lots. The county failed to comply with Goal 14 and the applicant's forester failed to follow the methodology required by law for determining whether the property qualifies as forest land.
Status: LUBA issued a winning decision.
Counsel: Andrew Mulkey on behalf of 1000 Friends of Oregon and Rogue Advocates.
7. 1000 Friends of Oregon v. Linn County (Land Use Board of Appeals)
1000 Friends challenged the county's decision to rezone 108 acres of resource land to non-resource for a 20 home subdivision on 5-acre lots. The county failed to comply with Goal 5 standards in its comprehensive plan that protect big game habitat. This case has been appealed to LUBA for the second time after initially proceeding to LUBA and then the Court of Appeals.
Status: Waiting for a decision from LUBA.
Counsel: Andrew Mulkey on behalf of 1000 Friends of Oregon.
8. Schaefer v. Oregon Department of Aviation (Land Use Board of Appeals)
1000 Friends, Friends of French Prairie, and other petitioners challenged the Oregon Aviation Board's decision to adopt findings in support of an airport master plan for the Aurora State Airport that would have expanded the airport runway and other facilities onto farmland without taking an exception to Goal 3. The Aviation Board and Department of Aviation never adopted their 2012 airport master plan and instead attempted to adopt findings in support of an earlier draft version of the master plan as a way to avoid judicial review of its decision to expand the airport. The unlawful scheme did not work.
Status: The agencies could not produce a copy of the draft airport master plan that they claimed to have adopted and, for that reason, LUBA remanded the agency’s decision.
Counsel: Andrew Mulkey representing 1000 Friends and Friends of French Prairie.