Land-use watchdog says county failed to follow law
By MITCH LIES
The land-use watchdog 1000 Friends of Oregon, farmers and others have contested a plan guiding land use in the Portland Metro area for the next 50 years.
Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties developed the plan in conjunction with the regional Metro Council. The plan was approved by the Land Conservation and Development Commission Aug. 19, 2011, and sanctioned by written order Aug. 14 of this year.
Under the process initiated by the 2007 Oregon Legislature, local, regional and state governments established rural reserves, which are areas off-limits to development for the next 50 years, and urban reserves, areas designated for development as cities expand.
"Our basic concern is with the application of the law in Washington County," said Mary Kyle McCurdy, a policy director for 1000 Friends. "We think Clackamas and Multnomah counties did it right.
"In Washington County," she said, "anytime there was a choice, where land could go for rural or urban ... it went to urban or was undesignated, meaning it received no additional protection."
In all, nine entities, including developers and cities, appealed the reserves, according to Lora Keenan, spokesperson for the Oregon Court of Appeals.
McCurdy said 1000 Friends filed on behalf of Washington County farmers Dave Vanasche, Larry Duyck and Bob Vanderzanden, and on its own behalf.
"Washington County used a way of analyzing agricultural lands we believe wasn't allowed under the law, and was different than that used in Clackamas and Multnomah counties," McCurdy said.
Appellants have until late September to file briefs.