In Oregon, agricultural lands are heavily regulated to ensure such areas are preserved for future farm use. Often, these areas are referred to as Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) zones. Land use regulations limit the type of non-farm uses that are allowed on these lands.
For those who own EFU zoned land and want a house, but don't qualify for a farm dwelling, one option is to apply for a non-farm dwelling. Unlike a farm dwelling that typically relates to an active farm operation, non-farm dwellings do not necessarily relate to a farm or ranch operation.
As noted above, though, EFU (and similarly zoned agricultural lands) are heavily regulated. So, receiving approval from your local planning department for such land use can pose a challenge. For one, applicants will have to meet certain approval criteria (see below example). There is also a chance that there will be opposition to the non-farm dwelling.
In Crook County, for example, nonfarm dwellings must not seriously interfere with farm and forest practices, materially alter the land use pattern, and be located on land not suitable for farm use. See Crook County Code 18.16.080. Other requirements apply as well.
Will Van Vactor has practiced law for over a decade and serves clients throughout Oregon. Will's practice focuses on land use and real estate. He works hard to understand his clients needs and to advocate on their behalf
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