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Date: September 24, 2010
GSB Press Release

Garvey Schubert Barer Filed Amicus Curiae in Support of City

PORTLAND, ORE., Sept. 24, 2010 – The Oregon Supreme Court recently issued its long awaited decision West Linn Corporate Park v. City of West Linn supporting the city’s requirement for off-site improvements as part of an office park development. In its decision, the Supreme Court answered three questions certified to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which sought clarification in state law.

Edward Sullivan and Carrie Richter, owners in the Portland office of Garvey Schubert Barer, filed an amicus curiae on behalf of the American Planning Association and the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association that supported the city’s position.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court issued a decision that supports the position of the American Planning Association and clarifies a city’s rights to off-site improvements as part of property development. This decision concludes that developers seeking to challenge local government conditions of development approval requiring the dedication or transfer of real property must first seek relief from the local government in a timely manner before they go to court. Significantly, the decision seems to limit ‘takings’ challenges to such conditions to conditions involving real estate, rather than money or improvements," said Sullivan.

The case centered on the City of West Linn requiring West Linn Corporate Park to finance and build major public improvements as a condition for developing an office park. The developer filed a suit against the city alleging that the off-site public improvements were unconstitutional because they were not closely related to impacts of the proposed development. The city filed a counterclaim and sought invalidation of a city ordinance that vacated a street abutting West Linn Corporate Park’s property. The city then removed the case to federal court, which ruled in favor of the city. The ruling was then appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which sought clarification form the Oregon Supreme Court. View the clarifying decision here.

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