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City of Damascus Acknowledgement

Background Information

The City of Damascus incorporated in November 2004.  ORS 197.757 requires newly incorporated cities to have comprehensive plans and land use regulations acknowledged no later than four years after the date of incorporation. The Land Conservation and Development Commission has sole authority under ORS 197.251(1) to acknowledge comprehensive plans and land use regulations as being in compliance with the statewide planning goals.

Timeline of actions following the City of Damascus incorporation
  • The City of Damascus incorporated by a vote of the people on November 2, 2004.
  • The DLCD director granted the city a one-year extension in November 2008.
  • LCDC approved a compliance schedule for completion of the comprehensive plan and implementing ordinances at the commission’s January 20-22, 2010 meeting.
  • The city held its first evidentiary hearing of its comprehensive plan on October 26, 2010.
  • The city council adopted Damascus’ first comprehensive plan and plan map on December 15, 2010.
  • The city submitted its notice of adoption for the plan and plan map to DLCD on December 16, 2010.  LCDC reviewed the request for acknowledgement in April 2011.
  • In May 2011, the adopted comprehensive plan was overturned by city referendum. The referendum had no practical effect on the city’s acknowledgement status because the plan that was rejected by the voters had not been acknowledged by LCDC.
  • In March 2012, the citizens of Damascus passed an initiative (Measure 3-389) that requires a vote of the people on ordinances or plans prior to submittal to Metro, LCDC and DLCD.
  • On January 24, 2013 the commission directed staff to initiate enforcement proceedings under ORS 197.320(110) and 197.065 after August 2013 if the city has not adopted the tasks due in their revised compliance schedule.
  • In September 2013, LCDC deferred the initiation of enforcement proceedings until after the scheduled November vote on disincorporation (Clackamas County Measure 3-433).
  • On November 15, 2013, LCDC voted to initiate enforcement proceedings under ORS 197.324 against the City of Damascus for failure to make satisfactory progress towards its compliance schedule, failure to comply with LCDC orders, and failure to adopt a comprehensive plan and land use regulations within four years of incorporation. [Note: for more details on the enforcement proceedings, see the section below entitled “In the Matter of Enforcement Against the City of Damascus Pursuant to ORS 197.324”]
  • On January 18, 2014, the hearings officer issued his proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation.
  • On February 14, the commission held a hearing to decide whether to adopt the hearings officer’s proposed order.
  • On March 13, 2014, the commission issued its final order, adopting the hearings officer’s findings of fact and conclusions of law, requiring the city to adopt a comprehensive plan, and directing the state to withhold state shared revenues up to the amount of grants previously awarded to the city until such time as the commission acknowledges the city’s comprehensive plans and implementing land use regulations.
For more information about the City of Damascus.
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