BEDSAUL/VINCENT CONSULTING PROJECTS
These sample projects have been chosen because they highlight particularly complex and/or contentious cases. In all cases, the projects were appealed to a higher ruling body, such as a County Land Use Hearings Officer or to the State of Oregon Court system. In each case the application was ultimately approved, despite opposition efforts to stop the project. The following projects represent a small sample of over 1,000 approved projects prepared by our firm.
1998-2004 Initial Review of Quarry operations and Post-Acknowledgment Plan Amendment to expand quarry operations (WA County, OR)
In 1998, Bedsaul/Vincent Consulting was hired by a long time quarry owner to obtain permits that would legalize the expansion of the existing operation beyond the “grandfathered” limits that had existed since the 1970's. Washington County required a review of the current operation, the proposed expansion, and the plans for that expansion, reclamation and
storm water treatment. Our firm prepared an application filing and coordinated project team members' production of supporting documents for the filing. Adjacent property owners were opposed to any quarry expansion, and appealed the Planning staff approval of the initial review to a Land Use Hearings Officer. The Land Use Hearings Officer upheld the Planning staff approval. In 2003, a new owner decided to further expand the quarry operation, which entailed a Comprehensive Plan and Zone Map Amendment to create an expanded mining district. As expected, the same adjacent property owners were opposed to this quarry
expansion, and they submitted volumes of opposition testimony that required lengthy rebuttal documents produced by our firm and others. The process required hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners, in this instance multiple hearings due to the amount of opposition testimony presented. In 2004, the Board of Commissioners ultimately approved the expansion over the objections of the opposition.
2005 Simultaneous approval of Five Forest Dwellings on five contiguous lots (Columbia County)
A repeat client purchased five 10-acre lots in a forest zone surrounded by more typically larger lots.(i.e. 78+ acres) Each lot qualified for a single forest dwelling via a zoning code procedure known as a “forest template test dwelling”. Our firm made application for five simultaneous and adjacent dwelling permits, which was never attempted before in Columbia County. Columbia County Planning staff recommended approval of all five applications. The adjacent property owners opposed the request from the beginning, and enlisted opposition support from 1000 Friends of Oregon. During later stages of the appeal hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners the applicant brought in a land use attorney to build a legal case upon the evidence that our firm produced. The opponents ultimately appealed the case to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which upheld the County approval. Each of the five lots now contain a dwelling.
2009 Approval of an Alteration & Expansion of a Non-Conforming Use for multiple farm dwellings and a 54 cabin labor camp. (WA County)
A client purchased a farm-zoned property that contained multiple farm dwellings and a dilapidated labor camp. The County required a complex application to prove, beyond a doubt, that all structures were “legal when established” and “continued uses”, because current zoning would not likely allow the current arrangement of dwellings and labor
camp, (i.e. a “non-conforming” use). The client's goal was to legalize all uses so that the labor camp could be torn down and replaced with new and attractive farm dwellings. Although a logical request, the County took a zealous position against the request, and made every effort to deny it. The County insisted on more and more evidence to prove non-conformance only to reject the new submittals and continue their recommendation for denial. Our chances for approval of this request seemed impossible. Our firm appealed the County denial to the Land Use Hearings Officer. Our firm, the client, and a land use attorney collaborated on appeal documents that overwhelmingly rebutted all County findings for denial. In a stunning reversal, the County Land Use Hearings Officer (who almost always supports staff) recommended approval of the request, and in the Hearings Officer report took issue with all of the County's denial findings.
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