Waste Not of Yamhill County v. Yamhill County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 07-15-2020
  • Case #: A165969
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Shorr, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Uses "may be approved only where the local governing body or its designee finds that the use will not: (a) Force a significant change in accepted farm or forest practices on surrounding lands devoted to farm or forest use; or (b) Significantly increase the cost of accepted farm or forest practices on surrounding lands devoted to farm or forest use." ORS 215.296(1)

Yamhill County approved physical changes to Respondent’s landfill as consistent with existent regulations, which Petitioners challenged. The trial court granted summary judgement in favor of the County. On appeal, Petitioners argued that the court erred because the County did not conduct a site review. Respondent argued that a site review was not required when the County approved the changes, and the subsequent statute requiring such review does not apply retroactively. ORS 215.296(1) requires findings of fact that any proposed change will not "significant change. . . [or] increase the cost of. . . accepted farm or forest practices" before such change is approved. However, ORS 215.130(5) states that “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.” Statutes generally do not apply retroactively unless the statute is plainly intended to apply retroactively. See Lovinger v. Lane County, 206 Or App 557, 565, rev den, 342 Or 254 (2006). The Court held that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgement to Respondent. The Court found that ORS 215.296 did not apply retroactively because no statutory text manifested the legislature’s intent that it should apply retroactively. Therefore, the County was not required to conduct a site review. Affirmed.

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