PORTLAND, OR – July 7, 2010. Garvey Schubert Barer, representing Waste Not of Yamhill County, a coalition of Yamhill County businesses and citizens, reports that the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (“LUBA”) issued a final order in Waste Not v. Yamhill County, LUBA No. 2010-002, on July 6, concluding that Yamhill County violated the law in authorizing the expansion of the Riverbend Landfill.
Waste Not had numerous concerns with the proposed landfill expansion, but LUBA chose to focus on a single issue – whether the county’s decision to take an exception to the land use “Goals” is even possible. LUBA concluded that, because Goal 3 expressly allows landfills in farm land, no exception is possible. Bill Kabeiseman, lead attorney on the case, explains, “Goal 3 specifies only certain uses are acceptable on farm land. Although those uses include landfills, it is only if the local community authorizes such waste facilities. In this case, Yamhill County, through their adopted Comprehensive Plan and land use regulations, wisely chose not to allow landfills on valuable farm land in the county. LUBA’s decision enforces Yamhill County’s comprehensive plan and prevents the applicant from finding a way around the community’s desires by applying for, in this case, a mythical exception.”
LUBA rarely grants reversals, instead favoring remand to allow local governments to fix problems associated with improper zone changes. However, in this instance, because the re-zoning was prohibited as a matter of law, LUBA had no choice but to reverse this zone change.
Waste Not recognizes that the County has a window of opportunity, now, to explore waste disposal options that both protect the environment and benefit the community economically, creating family-wage jobs while protecting thriving local tourism and agricultural industries. Waste Not encourages the County to take advantage of that window of opportunity and pursue those other options.