Below is the abstract for “Oregon Land Use Law: Cases and Materials,” available for download on SSRN.

Land use law is a staple in most law schools and in undergraduate and graduate planning programs throughout the United States. Occasionally, students may take a comparative land use class, and inevitably, Oregon’s innovative and unique land use planning program is taught. Students learn that Oregon enacted 19 statewide planning goals, that local governments must enact comprehensive plans and land use ordinances consistent with those goals, and that the Land Conservation and Development Commission must approve those plans and ordinances as consistent with the goals. Students learn that Oregon has established urban growth boundaries with meaningful criteria for changing those boundaries. And students learn that Oregon has a one-of-a-kind Land Use Board of Appeals to decide appeals of land use decisions. No other state in the United States has this package of statewide planning elements.

Making the Oregon way work takes ongoing effort and support of the governor, the legislature, the citizen volunteers of the Land Conservation and Development Commission and its advisory committees, the professional staff of the Department of Land Conservation and Development, other state agencies, the governing bodies, planning commissions, staff, and citizen volunteers of Oregon’s 241 cities and 36 counties, myriad special districts, nongovernmental entities, and private planning practitioners. And making the Oregon way work requires the interpretation, deference, and decisions from Land Use Board of Appeals and Oregon’s appellate courts.

Oregon’s land use planning program is more than 50 years old. There is a lifetime of reading historical and current state statutes and regulations and their legislative histories; past and current state and local administrative documents, plans, ordinances, orders, land use decisions, and other final actions; Land Use Board of Appeals and appellate court decisions; and law review and professional planning journal articles and scholarly work from Oregon’s universities and law schools, and beyond. This casebook is a teaching tool for planning and law students; we do not intend it to be a comprehensive resource on all topics relating to Oregon land use. Consequently, we do not cover all land use and related topics and we do not treat the topics in this book in the depth that each deserve if writing on them individually. Where we treat topics in more depth than others, we do so because one or both of us teach those topics in more depth than others. or because we use other sources and teaching tools.


Jeffrey B. Litwak

Lewis & Clark Law School

Jeffrey B. Litwak is Counsel to the Columbia River Gorge Commission, the interstate compact agency for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Jeff’s recent writings include the annual chapter on Intergovernmental Relations for the ABA Administrative Law Section’s annual Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice book since 2008; the only casebook on interstate compact law, Interstate Compacts: Cases and Materials (Semaphore Press v.2.0 2014); volume editor for A Guide to Federal Agency Adjudication (ABA Press, 2d ed. 2012); and contributing author on intergovernmental agreements to The Municipal Law Deskbook (working title) (ABA Press, forthcoming 2014).

Edward J. Sullivan

Portland State University

Edward J. Sullivan specialized in land use law for over 45 years and is now retired from practice. Before going into private practice, he served as Assistant County Counsel and County Counsel for Washington County, Oregon, and as Legal Counsel to the Governor of Oregon. 


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