Relu Group Scores Big Win for Client

Last month, Saalfeld Griggs’ land use attorneys scored a big win for their client in the City of Salem’s approval of ordinance 2013-04-SM. This ordinance paves the way for the next phase of the Bella Cresta Subdivision to move forward with development. Mark Shipman and Alan Sorem worked in conjunction with a local engineering firm on behalf of a local developer to obtain approval of a plat modification. Please read the decision here.

The client’s application was supported by staff and approved by the local planning commission, but was subsequently appealed to the city council by opposing parties. The city council initially deliberated and considered applying conditions of approval unfavorable to the client, including requiring the owners to spend upwards of $1 million dollars on the construction of improvements to a local road. By briefing the issue and utilizing evidence provided by the engineering firm, Mr. Shipman and Mr. Sorem convinced the city that the proposed conditions were unconstitutional pursuant to the Supreme Court ruling against government exactions in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District.

In this case, the strategies implemented by Saalfeld Griggs’ land use attorneys saved the client approximately $1 million dollars, as well as saving time and avoiding an appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals. Construction of the subdivision is expected to commence later this year.

For more information about the Koontz case, or to learn more about what we can do for you in your next development project, please contact Mark Shipman or Alan Sorem.