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Explanation of Goal 5
What is Goal 5?
Goal 5 is a broad statewide planning goal that covers more than a dozen resources, including wildlife habitats, historic places, and aggregate (gravel). It was originally adopted by LCDC in 1974. Goal 5 and related Oregon Administrative Rules (Chapter 660, Divisions 16 and 23) describe how cities and counties are to plan and zone land to conserve resources listed in the goal.
Goal 5 and its rules establish a five-step planning process for Oregon's cities and counties:
  1. Inventory local occurrences of resources listed in Goal 5 and decide which ones are important
  2. Identify potential land uses on or near each resource site and any conflicts that might result
  3. Analyze economic, social, environmental, and energy (ESEE) consequences of such conflicts
  4. Decide whether the resource should be fully or partially protected, and justify the decision
  5. Adopt measures such as zoning to put that policy into effect
This five-step Goal 5 process was established by rules adopted in 1982, and revised in 1996. The revisions tailored the process to the individual resources covered by the Goal.
For some resources, the revisions give local governments a choice: use new expedited procedures, or follow the standard five-step process. The rules for the new procedures (OAR 660, Division 23) replace the old rules in Division 16 except for cultural (archeological) resources.
An important element of the revised Goal 5 rules is the 'safe harbor' for local governments. A safe harbor is a special provision that ensures compliance with Goal 5. For riparian areas, wetlands, and wildlife habitats, a city or county can choose the safe harbor or follow the five-step process. The standard process gives a local government more flexibility, but also takes more work and heightens the risk of litigation.
An example of a 'safe harbor' is found in the rule provisions for riparian corridors. The rules specify that along a major waterway, a local government may adopt a setback that prohibits development within 75 feet of the waterway's bank. If it does that, the local government will automatically comply with Goal 5's requirement for protection of that particular resource.
The government doesn't need to do any elaborate studies to justify its decision, and its risk of litigation is lessened. If the local government wants to use something other than a 75-foot setback, it may. But in developing an alternative to the safe harbor, it would have to complete the standard Goal 5 process, which would take more work.

Goal 5 Work Already Done?
The revised Goal 5 rule does not require cities and counties to go back and start over in planning and zoning for Goal 5 resources. It validates the work already done, while establishing procedures to be used in the future.
Generally, it requires cities and counties to use the new procedures in the next 'periodic review' or when they amend their current land-use plan or ordinances.

When provisions take effect
The revisions to Goal 5 and its rules went into effect on Sept. 1, 1996.
But since cities and counties don't have to apply most of the revised provisions immediately, the answer to the question: "When will all this take effect?" is: "It all depends."
It depends on when a local government enters 'periodic review,' finds new information on Goal 5 resources, or wants to plan and zone new resource sites.
One part of the revised rules has gone into effect. Called the 'owner-consent provision,' it enables owners of historic places to have them removed from a plan's inventory if it was included without the owner's consent.
The 1995 legislature passed a law requiring this provision. LCDC adopted a temporary rule in September of 1995 to comply with that law. LCDC's adoption of the owner-consent provision as part of the new Goal 5 rules makes that temporary rule permanent.

How do revised rules differ?
The revised rules bring some important changes to the Goal 5 process. The main changes are summarized below. In most cases, they will have their greatest effect at a city or county's next 'periodic review.'
  • The rules call for more emphasis on the inventory and conservation of three resources: wetlands (primarily within urban areas), riparian zones, and wildlife habitats.
  • The rules reduce duplication by letting local governments rely on current state or federal programs for several resources, including wilderness areas, Oregon recreation trails, groundwater, and wild and scenic rivers. In effect, the new rules say that if such resources are protected under other programs, that's enough to satisfy Goal 5.
  • The rules clarify terms and procedures in the Goal 5 process that have caused confusion and litigation. For example, OAR 660-023-040 spells out steps that local governments are to use when analyzing ESEE consequences. This makes it easier for local governments to know what is expected of them and lowers the risk of litigation over vague terminology.
  • The rules make new local inventories voluntary for scenic resources, historic places, and open spaces. The rules specify how local governments are to proceedif they choose to inventory such resources in the future, but don't require them to do such inventories.
  • The rules alter the process for dealing with aggregate sites. Previously, local governments had to inventory and zone all existing and potential quarries and gravel sites in their jurisdictions. But it was hard to know where those sites might be, which ones were important, and when they might begin to operate. The revised rules eliminate this expensive and difficult obligation for local governments. Instead, jurisdictions can now deal with such issues one site at a time, whenever they receive an application for a new or expanded mining site.
  • The rules establish separate provisions for each type of resource listed in Goal 5. That will make it easier for local officials and others to understand and apply the rules. For a closer look at how the new rules affect individual resources, see the table below.

More information...
If you have questions about how Goal 5 will affect a specific piece of property, contact the local field representative or your local planner.
Resource Rule Section MainEffect Key Provisions
Riparian corridors660-023-090Requires inventory and protection of riparian resourcesDefines ´riparian corridors"´ and requires local inventories. Provides ´safe harbor´ definition and protection provisions: a standard setback for structures and certain land uses. Does not regulate grazing, fences, farm or forest practices. On farm and forest lands, local government may defer determination of corridor boundary until permit requested.
Wetlands660-023-100Requires wetland inventories and land use decisions inside UGBs In urban areas, requires local governments to inventory wetlands based on Department of State Lands (DSL) rules. Requires local governments to make decisions in advance about whether wetlands will be protected. In rural areas, counties may rely on existing state inventories but must notify DSL about proposed development affecting inventoried wetlands. All local governments must coordinate with DSL regarding inventories of wetlands and local decisions that affect inventoried wetlands.
Wildlife habitat660-023-110Requires updated local habitat inventory and protection programsDefines ´wildlife habitat´ and requires local governments to update habitat inventories using information from state and federal agencies. Governments must determine significance of habitat areas, through either standard Goal 5 process or ´safe harbor.´ The safe harbor provides objective criteria for identifying habitat significance. Local land use plans must include decisions about habitat areas, and must be coordinated with key state and federal agencies.
Federal wild & scenic rivers660-023-120Simplifies Goal 5 process for local governmentsRemoves requirement for local inventory, since these rivers are designated by the federal government. Local government must designate such a river as a significant resource, identify the wild and scenic river (WSR) corridor as the ´impact area,´ and make the local plan consistent with the federal management plan for the river.
Oregon scenic waterways660-023-130Simplifies Goal 5 process for local governmentsCalls for local governments to designate any Oregon scenic waterway as a significant Goal 5 resource. They need not complete the Goal 5 process for such a waterway until the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission (OPRC) has adopted a management plan for it. For waterways with such a plan, local governments may develop a program to achieve the goal using the standard Goal 5 process, or they may use a ´safe harbor.´ The safe harbor is a combination of plan and implementing ordinances "necessary to carry out the plan adopted by the OPRC." After OPRC adopts a management plan, the local government must make its local plan consistent with OPRC´s plan by the next ´periodic review.´ 
Groundwater resources660-023-140Requires protection for a few sites; exempts all othersRequires local governments to protect three types of significant groundwater resources: (1) critical groundwater areas; (2) groundwater limited areas, as designated by the Oregon Water Resources Commission; and (3) certain large wellhead protection areas, as designated by the Oregon Health Division. Exempts all other groundwater resources from the provisions of Goal 5.
Oregon recreation trails660-023-150Simplifies Goal 5 process for local governmentsProvides that local governments need not inventory such trails but must designate all state approved-recreation trails as significant Goal 5 resources. Local governments may rely on state programs to protect such trails or develop additional protections using the Goal 5 process.
Natural areas660-023-160Simplifies Goal 5 process for local governmentsDefines natural area as any site on the state's Register of Natural Areas. Such sites are deemed 'significant' under Goal 5. At 'periodic review,' local governments must determine whether new natural areas have been listed. Any new area must be addressed through the standard Goal 5 process. 
Wilderness areas660-023-170Relies on protection provided by federal programsSays that local governments must recognize federally designated wilderness areas as significant resources in their local plans. They may rely on the federal protection provided to these areas. That is, they need not apply other provisions of Goal 5, unless they choose to establish additional local protections for a wilderness area.
Mineral & aggregate resources660-023-180Advance inventories no longer required; provides for case-by-case reviewCalls for local governments to determine significance of aggregate sites only in response to individual plan amendment requests. The rule has special provisions to protect certain high-quality farmlands from aggregate mining. It contains clear, objective criteria to determine significance of aggregate sites. For significant sites, local governments determine within 180 days whether mining is to be permitted, based on criteria from rules. Sites where mining is to be permitted must be protected from future conflicting uses. Plan must specify end-uses of mining sites.
Energy sources660-023-190Simplifies Goal 5 process for local governmentsRequires local plans to rely upon, and be consistent with, energy facility siting decisions made by Oregon´s Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC). For sites not covered by this process, the standard Goal 5 process guides local decisions.
Historic resources660-023-200Carries out statutory 'owner consent' provisionsAllows property owners to opt out of local inventories. New inventories are optional for local governments. Requires a local ordinance to regulate demolition and major exterior alterations of designated historic sites. Ordinance must meet US government-recommended standards and specify at least 120-day demolition delay.
Open space660-023-220Local governments not required to inventory new sitesEnables local governments to use Goal 5 process to designate open space if they choose to do so. If they do, they must complete the standard Goal 5 steps. Allows a list of open space sites for acquisition without having to apply Goal 5 to the sites unless the sites are regulated before they are acquired.
Scenic views & sites660-023-230Simplifies Goal 5 process for local governmentsEnables local governments to use Goal 5 process for significant new scenic views and sites if they choose to do so, using the standard Goal 5 steps. No new inventories of scenic views are required.