June 01, 2005
Crag Law Center
Cascade Resources Advocacy Group
The Cascade Resources Advocacy Group (CRAG), representing the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition and local community members, filed a Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) lawsuit challenging a zone change for Indian Point, a parcel of land in Coos Bay. The Indian Point property had been zoned as Forest land until May 2005 when the County Board of Commissioners approved a zoning change to high density Urban Residential. I spent my time at CRAG drafting the Petition for Review arguing that the zone change was impermissible because such high density zoning is not allowed outside of the urban growth boundary based on the county’s ordinances. Additionally, Coos County failed to give adequate reasons why the Department of Land Conservation and Development’s protections for forestland under statewide Goal 4 do not apply to Indian Point. Lastly, the property owner placed a covenant on the Indian Point property in order to develop property in neighboring Curry County. The covenant prohibits development at Indian Point so long as the property is protected by Forest zoning. Obviously, this zone change is an attempt to circumvent the development prohibition and find a way to build on the land in both Coos and Curry County. The LUBA appeal of the Indian Point decision combines the community organizing work I did in California and the new legal skills I gathered my first year in law school to both create a strong case against the zone change in Coos County and continue strategizing community involvement during the pending legal challenge. The LUBA hearing will take place in September 2005.