Oregon Land Use Law: Cases and Materials

714 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2023 Last revised: 3 Jan 2024

See all articles by Jeffrey Litwak

Jeffrey Litwak

Lewis & Clark College Paul L Boley Library

Edward J. Sullivan

Portland State University

Date Written: January 1, 2024


Land use law is a staple in most law schools and in undergraduate and graduate planning programs throughout the United States. Occasionally, students may take a comparative land use class, and inevitably, Oregon’s innovative and unique land use planning program is taught. Students learn that Oregon enacted 19 statewide planning goals, that local governments must enact comprehensive plans and land use ordinances consistent with those goals, and that the Land Conservation and Development Commission must approve those plans and ordinances as consistent with the goals. Students learn that Oregon has established urban growth boundaries with meaningful criteria for changing those boundaries. And students learn that Oregon has a one-of-a-kind Land Use Board of Appeals to decide appeals of land use decisions. No other state in the United States has this package of statewide planning elements.

Making the Oregon way work takes ongoing effort and support of the governor, the legislature, the citizen volunteers of the Land Conservation and Development Commission and its advisory committees, the professional staff of the Department of Land Conservation and Development, other state agencies, the governing bodies, planning commissions, staff, and citizen volunteers of Oregon’s 241 cities and 36 counties, myriad special districts, nongovernmental entities, and private planning practitioners. And making the Oregon way work requires the interpretation, deference, and decisions from Land Use Board of Appeals and Oregon’s appellate courts.

Oregon’s land use planning program is more than 50 years old. There is a lifetime of reading historical and current state statutes and regulations and their legislative histories; past and current state and local administrative documents, plans, ordinances, orders, land use decisions, and other final actions; Land Use Board of Appeals and appellate court decisions; and law review and professional planning journal articles and scholarly work from Oregon’s universities and law schools, and beyond. This casebook is a teaching tool for planning and law students; we do not intend it to be a comprehensive resource on all topics relating to Oregon land use. Consequently, we do not cover all land use and related topics and we do not treat the topics in this book in the depth that each deserve if writing on them individually, and we do not treat all topics with the same level of detail. Our choices of what we cover in this book and the depth in which we cover them reflect the topics that one or both of us teach or our use of other sources and teaching tools.

Keywords: Oregon, Land Use, Zoning, Plan, Planning, Comprehensive Plan, LUBA, Land Use Board of Appeals, LCDC, DLCD, Goals, Land Use Decision

JEL Classification: K11, K32, Q15, Q24, R14, R31, R52, R58,

Suggested Citation

Litwak, Jeffrey and Sullivan, Edward J., Oregon Land Use Law: Cases and Materials (January 1, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4312216 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4312216

Jeffrey Litwak (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark College Paul L Boley Library ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States

Edward J. Sullivan

Portland State University ( email )

United States
503-793-0291 (Phone)

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