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Land Use Mediation

Using Mediation to Solve Land Use Disputes

· land use,oregon,mediation

By: Will Van Vactor

Seeking resolution to a land use dispute through the normal administrative and appeal processes can be expensive and time-consuming. In many land use cases, mediation can offer a way to resolve disputes for less money and time.

The types of land use cases that can be mediated vary. Some examples include:

  • controversial development applications
  • comprehensive plan and development code amendments, and
  • cases that are in litigation.

Not every case is right for mediation, though. Because mediation is a voluntary, informal process, it only works when all parties agree to participate in good faith. In the land use context, it is common for one party to have a significant advantage, perhaps due to financial resources, legal leverage, or political support. A party with a significant advantage may not be inclined to mediate. However, if all parties see that there is something to gain from meditation (like money, time, political capital, etc.), the case may be right for mediation.

The benefits of mediation can be many, including:

  • cost and time savings
  • mutually beneficial resolution (often through creative problem solving)
  • improved community relationships (for the local government and developer), and 
  • opportunity to focus on needs and interests of the parties, not just their respective legal positions. 

If you are not sure whether mediation is right for your case, talk to your land use attorney.


The information on this blog is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

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