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Scappoose UGB opponents take case to Oregon Court of Appeals

Those who believe faulty data and forecasts were used to justify expansion press case to state appellate court


Opponents of a planned expansion to Scappoose’s urban growth boundary on Thursday submitted a request to the Oregon Court of Appeals to review an earlier decision from the state Department of Land Conservation and Development approving the expansion.

The 36-page request, predominately composed of the March 1 DLCD approval order, was filed before the 21-day appeal window had closed March 22.

On Sept. 20, the state upheld its June 14 decision approving the UGB expansion. Michael Sheehan and Pat Zimmerman had filed an appeal with the state LCDC that prompted that review.

Taking the case to the Court of Appeals is the final option available to the opponents barring an outcome that affirms the opponents’ objections. Most of those objections are premised on an Economic Opportunities Analysis that has served as the justifying document for the UGB expansion. The opponents allege there is no supporting evidence in the analysis justifying a need for the expansion, and they have repeatedly challenged the validity of employment data and forecasts.

“There’s a legal process and we’ll follow it through to the end,” Zimmerman told The Spotlight in an earlier interview.

A successful appeal does not necessarily invalidate the entirety of the DLCD approval order. If the Court of Appeals found an error with a segment of the order, it could require the city to revisit that segment, which would include a new round of public hearings on that particular issue.

“If that occurs, it is my understanding that we would have to do further analysis on that and we would have to go back through the public hearing process on that particular issue,” said Scappoose City Manager Jon Hanken. “This gets to be a very narrow focus. If the judge says, ‘Look at A, B and C,' that’s all we’ll look at.”

Most of the 365 acres proposed for inclusion in the city’s UGB surrounds Scappoose Industrial Airpark. One development proposed for 20 acres of that property is a Portland Community College learning center earlier estimated at $2.2 million.