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Oregon Land Use Planning (1-OR-a)

Land use planning in Oregon is guided by statewide land use planning goals under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), Chapter 197. Through statewide planning goals, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) established the state’s policies on land use (ORS 197.225 and Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 660-015). The statewide planning goals are achieved through local comprehensive planning consistent with the goals, Land Conservation and Development Commission (the Commission) rules, and statutory requirements. (ORS 197.250). Local comprehensive plans reviewed and acknowledged by the Commission guide local land use planning decisions within the local jurisdiction. Statewide planning goals were initially adopted in the 1970’s and have rarely been amended (See, Oregon Statewide Planning Goals). Rather the LCDC adopts or amends associated interpretive rules under OAR 660. In addition, every city and county has in place an acknowledged local comprehensive plan adopted under the procedures of OAR 660-003. The following narrative addresses only the amendment process for statewide goals and local comprehensive plans.

Land Use Planning Process

1-OR-a.1– Make Finding of Need to Amend Statewide Goal

The DLCD may amend statewide goals under ORS 197.245. When amending a goal, the DLCD must make a finding of statewide need for adopting a new statewide goal (ORS 197.230(d)). In making this finding, the DLCD will identify economic and property interests involved, likely economic impacts, and consider alternatives (ORS 197.230).

1-OR-a.2 to 1-OR-a.4 – Provide Notice of Public Hearings

Oregon law requires the DLCD to hold at least 10 public hearings during the process of preparing goals (ORS 197.235(1)(a)). Prior to holding public hearings the DLCD is required to provide public notice in the Secretary of State’s Bulletin and via mail to relevant parties (OAR 660-001-0000).

The DLCD will update the proposed goals based on public input and then submit them to the Commission for review (ORS 197.235(2)).

1-OR-a.5 to 1-OR-a.9 - Review Proposed Goal Amendment

Upon receipt, the Commission will review the proposed goal amendment for compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. As part of the process, the Commission will hold at least one public hearing (ORS 197.240(1)). When making its final decision, the Commission is required to consider comments from the public and local officials. The Commission may make any changes to the proposed goal amendment that it considers necessary prior to adopting the proposed amendment (ORS 197.240(2)). A proposed goal amendment will be adopted only if it complies with all statutory and regulatory requirements.

1-OR-a.10 – Amended Statewide Planning Goal

The amendment process results in a revised set of statewide planning goals. This set of statewide planning goals guides the amendment of local comprehensive plans. For example, the DLCD set forth goals 5 and 13 which respectively establish planning goals for natural resources and energy sources conservation. Along with these goals, the DLCD also sets forth guidelines which suggest methods to local planning commissions for reaching the statewide planning goals. Guidelines are merely advisory in nature (ORS 197.015(9)). The DLCD publishes a comprehensive compilation of the statewide goals and guidelines entitled Oregon Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines.

In addition, compliance criteria for particular goals are guided by DLCD regulation in OAR, Chapter 660. For example, with Goal 5, the DLCD set forth goals and guidelines for planning to protect natural resources. The Goal requires energy resources be inventoried and provides guidelines for planning and implementation. OAR 660-016 and OAR 660-023 set forth compliance criteria for Goal 5. The compliance criteria include specific procedure and requirements for resource inventory, identifying conflicting uses, developing a program to achieve the goal, landowner involvement, and planning and regulating the development of mineral and aggregate resources. Under OAR 660-023-0190 geothermal resources are within the definition of energy sources for purposes of Goal 5.

1-OR-a.11 to 1-OR-a.13– Is the Local Comprehensive Plan for a City With a Population of Over 10,000?

The DLCD is required by statute to conduct periodic reviews of local comprehensive plans for cities with populations over 10,000. The review ensures continued compliance with statewide planning goals, statutes, and regulations (ORS 197.628 to 197.651). Periodic reviews occur every four to ten years based on a schedule established the by DLCD under OAR 660-025. In addition, a city or county may request periodic review be initiated outside the schedule ( OAR 660-0025-0035). Upon review, if the DLCD determines a comprehensive plan requires amendment, the city is required to amend its acknowledged comprehensive plan (ORS 197.633).

1-OR-a.14– Amend Local Comprehensive Plan as Necessary

Under ORS 197.175(2)(a), cities and counties are required to adopt amendments to comprehensive plans as necessary to comply with statewide goals approved by the commission, land use regulations and zoning ordinances, and the numerous statutory requirements contained in ORS 195, 196, 197 and 215. Changes in local conditions might require amendment to a local comprehensive plan so that the plan remains in compliance with applicable land use statutes, statewide goals, and Commission rules (ORS 197.628). In addition, cities and counties are required to amend comprehensive plans to meet any new statutory requirement imposed by the state legislature (ORS 197.646).

1-OR-a.15 to 1-OR-a.16 – Submit Amendment to Local Comprehensive Plan to DLCD

Proposed amendments to acknowledged comprehensive plans must be submitted to the DLCD more than 35 days before the first evidentiary hearing (ORS 197.610(1)). Upon receipt, DLCD is required to provide notice to interested and affected parties (ORS 197.610(4)).

1-OR-a.17 to 1-OR-a.19 – Does the Proposed Amendment Comply With Applicable Statutes, Goals, and Rules?

If the DLCD determines that a proposed amendment does not comply with applicable land use statutes, statewide goals, or Commission rules, it must notify the city or county the proposed amendment must be changed (ORS 197.610(7)). If the required change modifies the proposed amendment to the extent that the materials previously submitted to the DLCD no longer reasonably describe the proposed amendment, the city or county must resubmit a new proposal to the DLCD (ORS 197.610(6)).

1-OR-a.20 to 1-OR-a.22 – Adopt Proposed Amendment to Local Comprehensive Plan

If the amendment complies with applicable land use statutes, statewide goals, and Commission rules, the city or county may adopt the proposed amendment. Once adopted, the city or county must submit the adopted amendment to the DLCD within 20 days (ORS 167.615). This process results with an amended local comprehensive plan which, after adopted, guides local land use planning decisions for the adopting city or county. Each local comprehensive plan has two main parts: (1) an inventory element containing data and information describing resources and features, and (2) a policy element describing long-range objectives and policies to achieve them.

Note that there are no statewide procedural requirements for adopting amendments to local comprehensive plans. To fully understand the planning process, developers should refer to the procedural requirements of the local jurisdiction.

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