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Woodburn to petition UGB expansion ruling

Woodburn City Council has authorized city attorney Bob Shields to file a petition for review after Oregon Court of Appeals opposed the city’s revised urban growth boundary expansion plans. Oregon’s Land Conservation Development Commission (LCDC) presented the plan in early January.

“We believe LCDC wrote an excellent and detailed explanation for its decision and we failed to see what more was needed,” said Mayor Kathy Figley. “We also didn’t get a clear explanation on what we, or LCDC, didn’t adequately do.”

According to Oregon law, each city in Oregon is required to develop and modify their urban growth boundaries that will accommodate industry and population growth for the subsequent 20 years.

Although Oregon Court of Appeals stated LCDC failed to give an explanation for the reasoning of how the expansion is consistent with the law, this isn’t unfamiliar. A similar instance occurred in a revised plan from the state that was appealed by the court in 2011.

Figley mentioned she cannot speculate on the reasoning of the Court of Appeals’ decision and stated that the city will provide an explanation of the error they believe was made by the court.

“We believe that LCDC did its work and there were sufficient grounds to allow the city to expand its UGB,” said Jason Horton, Woodburn’s communications coordinator. “We are not clear as to what the Court of Appeals’ reasons were for saying LCDC didn’t do a good enough job.”

According to Figley, the Oregon Supreme Court will decide whether it wants to review the case in about five months. There is no specified date scheduled for the court’s decision to review the petition.

Woodburn’s first urban growth expansion plan, which included more than 900 acres of land, started in 2005. More than $1 million has been spent on consultant fees and staff time regarding this case.

Mary Kyle McCurdy, attorney of 1000 Friends of Oregon, requested no comment due to unconfirmed knowledge of the city filing for petition.



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