Marion County joins lawsuit against new state development rules

  • In Business
  • 2022-11-26 01:40:24Z
  • By Statesman Journal
Court gavel stock image.
Court gavel stock image.  

Marion County has joined a dozen cities in filing a lawsuit against the state Department of Land Conservation and Development over new rules meant to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Cornelius, Forest Grove, Grants Pass, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Keizer, Medford, Oregon City, Springfield, Troutdale, Tualatin, and Wood Village filed a lawsuit last week in the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Oregon's Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted the "Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rules" and filed them with the secretary of state on Aug. 17.

The rules were crafted over two years and require the elimination of specific parking mandates, the adoption of parking regulation improvements and maximums, the growth of electric vehicle infrastructure, and the development of "climate-friendly areas."

The rules apply to the eight largest metropolitan areas in Oregon: Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene/Springfield, Grants Pass, Medford/Ashland, Portland metro and Salem/Keizer.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue the rules will "have the unintended consequence of discouraging the cultivation of urban density and forcing residents to travel longer distances by car for employment, increasing greenhouse gas emission."

"Numerous other unintended negative consequences will arise," the plaintiffs argue. The lawsuit points to timing and funding requirements outlined in the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rules that set timelines that are "extremely hard to meet" and have delayed "critical planning work."

In May, six Oregon Democratic lawmakers representing the Eugene area submitted a letter outlining their concerns and requested to delay the implementation of the rules before they were finalized. They raised similar concerns about costs and estimated $5 to $7 million would be needed to undertake work required by the new rules.

Eugene did not, however, join the lawsuit.

The suit adds that Marion County and the cities are not fighting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or pollution.

LCDC has illegally expanded its oversight, the plaintiffs argue. They are asking the court to place an emergency stop on the new rules while they wait for a ruling on the lawsuit.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Marion County joins lawsuit against new state development rules


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