Morgan v. Jackson County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 02-07-2018
  • Case #: A166034
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J.; DeVore, J., for the court; & James, J.

ORS 215.130(5), “The lawful use of any building, structure or land at the time of the enactment or amendment of any zoning ordinance or regulation may be continued…” should not be read in conjunction with laws that are unrelated to zoning and land use.

Petitioners sought review of LUBA order that reversed a Jackson County decision which allowed a non-conforming use of their land as an auto yard in an area zoned for exclusive farm use. Petitioners argued that LUBA erred when interpreting the term “lawful use” in ORS 215.130(5) in conjunction with a former ORS 481.305, which pertained to auto dealer licensing.  LUBA argued that that former ORS 481.305 was applicable because “lawful use” applies to all laws, not just land use, and because Petitioners did not have an auto dealing license, use of the land as an auto yard was not “lawful use.” ORS 215.130(5) does not implicate laws that are unrelated to zoning and land use. Using a statutory construction analysis, the Court held that LUBA erred when connecting a law governing the licensing of auto dealers into Petitioner’s “lawful use” of the land. Reversed and remanded. 

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