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Replacement Dwellings on Farm Land

Recent Court of Appeals Opinion Weighs in on the Issue

· land use appeals,oregon land use,replacement dwelling,farm land,EFU zone

By: Will Van Vactor

In LandWatch Lane County v. Lane County, the Oregon Court of Appeals interpreted the meaning of a recent law that amended the requirements for replacement dwellings on EFU-zoned land.

House Bill 2746 (2013) provides in relevant part:

(1) A lawfully established dwelling may be altered, restored or replaced under ORS 215.213(1)(q) or 215.283 (1)(p) in the manner provided by either subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

(2) The dwelling may be altered, restored or replaced if, when an application for a permit is submitted, the per­mitting authority:

* * * * *

(b) Finds that the dwelling was assessed as a dwell­ing for purposes of ad valorem taxation for the lesser of:

(A) The previous five property tax years unless the value of the dwelling was eliminated as a result of the destruction, or demolition in the case of restoration, of the dwelling; or

(B) From the time when the dwelling was erected upon or affixed to the land and became subject to assess­ment as described in ORS 307.010 unless the value of the dwelling was eliminated as a result of the destruction, or demolition in the case of restoration, of the dwelling.

The Oregon Court of Appeals concluded that a replacement dwelling may be rebuilt on farmland regardless of how long ago the original structure was destroyed or removed. If appealed, it is possible that the issue will be reconsidered by the Oregon Supreme Court and a different conclusion may be drawn. Nonetheless, this is an interesting decision for anyone interested in (one way or the other) development on EFU lands.

Van Vactor Law is an Oregon land use law firm. Will Van Vactor is a land use lawyer.

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