Land Use Legislation Update

By Mark Shipman and Alan Sorem

Each year when the Oregon State Legislature meets, members of the legislative body propose a number of land use bills. This year is no exception. The following is a selective summary of land use bills currently pending before the Oregon State Legislature.

Urban Growth Boundary Bills
Last year, the headline act of the Oregon Legislature’s land use bills was HB 4078, the land use “Grand Bargain,” which designated urban reserves, rural reserves, and a new Metro urban growth boundary in Washington County. The legislature used Metro Council’s Ordinance No. 11-4245 (designation of urban and rural reserves) and Ordinance No. 12-UGB-001823 (expansion of the urban grown boundary) as a starting point, then re-designated properties as urban, rural or undesignated and brought certain properties within the urban growth  boundary (“UGB”). In 2015 many municipalities sought legislative fixes to their own UGB problems, including Woodburn in HB 2649, Langdon Farms in HB 3313, and Bend in SB 851. However, as of the date of this article, the majority of the bills are either dead by rule or not expected to progress further this session.

The only bill that may still have a chance of passing, as of the date of this article, is SB 716, which authorizes Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties to each designate one large-lot industrial reserve of 150 to 500 acres. While SB 716 may be the Legislature’s sole concession to the expediency, it appears the Legislature continues to hope that ORS Chapter 197A, which was adopted in 2013 and becomes effective on January 1, 2016, will address the need to update the state’s urban growth boundary amendment process beyond Metro. The Department of Land Conservation and Development (“DLCD”) is expected to issue proposed rules in the
upcoming year. These rules are intended to provide new, simplified methods which growing cities can use to evaluate the capacity of their UGBs.

Planning Bills
Two additional bills, if passed, will result in additional administrative rules interpreting statewide planning goals. HB 2633 requires the Land Conservation and Development Commission (“LCDC”) to adopt rules to implement statewide land use planning Goal 7 related to natural hazards within two years of enactment. DLCD, in coordination with the Office of Emergency Management and other federal agencies, is expected to establish a program, or modify an existing program, to provide guidance to local governments regarding adaptive planning to reduce risk to people and property due to development in hazard areas. SB 94 is a catch-all measure for a number of concepts related to disaster preparedness. The bill is an outgrowth of the Oregon Resilience Plan, which is designed to better prepare Oregon for tsunami and earthquake risks. The proposed bill also gives LCDC broad authorization to adopt rules.

Affordable Housing
HB 2564 has passed the House and is pending before the Senate. It repeals ORS 197.309, which prevents local governments from imposing conditions on approved permits that effectively establish sales price for residential development or limit purchase to a class or group of purchasers. However, amendments to HB 2564 limit such conditions of approval to not “require more than 30 percent of housing units within a residential development to be sold at belowmarket rates” and also offer developers one or more of the enumerated incentives including density adjustments, fee waivers or reductions, and expedited service for permits.

Procedural and Minor Substantive Rules
As in every session, there are a number of pending bills which are procedural in nature, or make relatively
minor substantive law changes that might impact future land use applications.

• HB 2830 – Modifies time period for local government to take action on application for permit, limited land use decision, or zone change after remand based on final order of Land Use Board of Appeals.

• HB 2831 – Restricts property line adjustments in resource zones for Measure 49 properties to two acres for high-value farmland or forestland or lands within ground water restricted areas and to five acres for other resource land properties.

• HB 2938 – HB 2938 – Prohibits city from requiring consent to annexation of landowner’s property in exchange for city providing county service as agent of county.

• HB 3212 – Makes law or rule for restricting previously allowed farming practice land use regulation for purposes of certain land use laws for Measure 49 claims.

While it is always difficult to determine what the legislature will ultimately do with the pending legislation, if you have a question or matter that you are considering, please contact one of our firm’s real estate and land use attorneys for advice.