- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Preemption
- Date Filed: 11-16-2022
- Case #: A167583
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Shorr, J.; & Powers, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment on the Urban Renewal Commission of the City of Oregon City’s (URC) claim that Section 59E of the Oregon City Charter is preempted by ORS Chapter 457, which concerns urban renewal statutes. On appeal, Defendant argued that the new section is not preempted by ORS Chapter 457 because both laws can be applied concurrently. In response, URC argued that, because they are a separate entity from the city under ORS Chapter 457, they are not governed by the city charter rather they are governed by the urban renewal plan. Therefore, the new amendment to the charter is preempted because the charter’s new section cannot take away powers authorized to the URC through the plan without following the amendment process in ORS Chapter 457.
“[T]he validity of local action depends, first, on whether it is authorized by the local charter or by a statute, or if taken by initiative, whether it qualifies as ‘local, special (or) municipal legislation’ under [A]rticle IV, section 1(5); second, on whether it contravenes state or federal law.” La Grande/Astoria v. PERB, 284 Or 173 (1978). A new city charter amendment contravenes state law when the local rule is incompatible with the legislative policy. Id. If the local rule is incompatible with the legislative policy, the local rule is preempted.
The Court found that urban renewal agencies are separate entities from the municipality for which they were created. In addition, ORS Chapter 457 explains that the only way to amend the statutes governing an urban renewal agency’s plan is to follow the steps it lays out. Thus, the Court held URC is not governed by the city charter and that Section 59E is preempted because it is directly incompatible with the legislative policy in ORS Chapter 457.