Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife v. Lake County

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-06-2018
  • Case #: 2017-128
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Zamudio
  • Full Text Opinion

LCZO 18.05(D)(6) mandates 160-acre minimum parcel size for new land division within big game habitat.

Petitioner appeals a decision approving a partition of a 239-acre parcel into two parcels of 80.23 and 158.77 acres. The planning commission approved the partition and, on appeal, the board of county commissioners affirmed the decision. Part of the property is under the designation of a big game winter range, as would portions of both the newly partitioned parcels.

Lake County Development Ordinance (LCDO) 6.070 states that the county shall not approve a minor partition unless the proposal complies with the Lake County Zoning Ordinance (LCZO). LCZO 18.05(D)(6) specifies that the minimum parcel size for all new parcels in designated big game habitat “shall be 160 acres or larger if required by the underlying zone”

Board of county commissioners made certain “considerations” in approving the non-conforming division of the property. Petitioner argues, on appeal, that LCZO 18.05(D)(6) prevents the proposed partition as a matter of law. LUBA agrees with the petitioner and holds all considerations “do not provide a legally sufficient basis for deviating from the minimum parcel size requirement” of LCDO 6.070. Because the proposed partitions do not conform to the relevant LCZO, it is prohibited as a matter of law. REVERSED.

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