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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) and how is it different from the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD)?

Oregon's seven-member Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC), adopts state land-use goals and implements rules, assures local plan compliance with the goals, coordinates state and local planning, and manages the coastal zone program. The Commissioners are unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Commission meets every other month to direct the work of DLCD.

DLCD implements the statewide planning program under the direction and guidance of the LCDC.

What does the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) do and how is LUBA different from the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC)?

Prior to LUBA's creation, land use appeals were heard by the Land Conservation and Development Commission and the circuit courts. LUBA was created to simplify the appeal process, speed resolution of land use disputes and provide consistent interpretation of state and local land use laws. When someone believes a city, county, or special district has made a land use decision that violates a local or state planning or zoning regulation, their recourse is to appeal the decision to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). This is the appropriate avenue for most disputes over land use decisions.

Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 197.319-335 and Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 660-45 provide a process that an individual can use to petition the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) to enforce local government, state agency, or special district compliance with planning requirements. These statutes and rules provide the rights and procedural requirements for members of the public to use to resolve specific non-compliance issues. They are specific to decisions made under comprehensive plans and land use regulations.

Learn more about LUBA.

Learn more about LCDC.

How is the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) different from the Department of State Lands (DSL)?

To answer this question, we must first learn about the Oregon Department of State Lands. DSL manages land and other resources to finance public education in Oregon. DSL leases rangelands, agricultural lands and waterways for a variety of business and recreational activities. The agency also implements Oregon's removal-fill and wetlands conservations laws and manages the state’s navigable waterways for the "public trust" uses of recreation, fishing, navigation and commerce. DSL acts as a trustee for unclaimed property such as abandoned bank accounts, lost securities and unclaimed checks. Net revenues from all agency activities are deposited in the Common School Fund. Twice a year, earnings from investments are distributed to Oregon’s K-12 public school districts. For more information about DSL, please see the DSL web site.

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development administers Oregon's statewide land use planning program. The program provides protection of farm and forest lands, conservation of natural resources, orderly and efficient development, coordination among local governments, and the promotion of citizen involvement in the local planning process. The program affords all Oregonians predictability and sustainability to the development process by providing a method for cities and counties to assign land for industrial, commercial and housing development, transportation and agriculture. Under the program, all cities and counties have adopted comprehensive plans that meet mandatory state standards. The standards are 19 Statewide Planning Goals that deal with land use, development, housing, transportation, and conservation of natural resources. Periodic review of plans and technical assistance in the form of grants to local jurisdictions are key elements of the program.

How do I find out who my DLCD Regional Representative is?

Regional representatives provide technical assistance on the full scope of urban and rural planning matters. They answer questions, connect local and state staff, and help to ensure that land use plans comply with state requirements. Regional Representatives work closely with their state agencies to deliver coordinated service and information. Go to the Regional Representatives web page to learn more.

What does the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) do and how is LUBA different from the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC)?

Prior to LUBA's creation, land use appeals were heard by the Land Conservation and Development Commission and the circuit courts. LUBA was created to simplify the appeal process, speed resolution of land use disputes and provide consistent interpretation of state and local land use laws. When someone believes a city, county, or special district has made a land use decision that violates a local or state planning or zoning regulation, their recourse is to appeal the decision to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). This is the appropriate avenue for most disputes over land use decisions.

Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 197.319-335 and Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 660-45 provide a process that an individual can use to petition the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) to enforce local government, state agency, or special district compliance with planning requirements. These statutes and rules provide the rights and procedural requirements for members of the public to use to resolve specific non-compliance issues. They are specific to decisions made under comprehensive plans and land use regulations.

Learn more about LUBA.

Learn more about LCDC.

How is the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) different from the Department of State Lands (DSL)?

To answer this question, we must first learn about the Oregon Department of State Lands. DSL manages land and other resources to finance public education in Oregon. DSL leases rangelands, agricultural lands and waterways for a variety of business and recreational activities. The agency also implements Oregon's removal-fill and wetlands conservations laws and manages the state's navigable waterways for the "public trust" uses of recreation, fishing, navigation and commerce. DSL acts as a trustee for unclaimed property such as abandoned bank accounts, lost securities and unclaimed checks. Net revenues from all agency activities are deposited in the Common School Fund. Twice a year, earnings from investments are distributed to Oregon's K-12 public school districts. For more information about DSL, please see the DSL web site.

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development administers Oregon's statewide land use planning program. The program provides protection of farm and forest lands, conservation of natural resources, orderly and efficient development, coordination among local governments, and the promotion of citizen involvement in the local planning process. The program affords all Oregonians predictability and sustainability to the development process by providing a method for cities and counties to assign land for industrial, commercial and housing development, transportation and agriculture. Under the program, all cities and counties have adopted comprehensive plans that meet mandatory state standards. The standards are 19 Statewide Planning Goals that deal with land use, development, housing, transportation, and conservation of natural resources. Periodic review of plans and technical assistance in the form of grants to local jurisdictions are key elements of the program.

How do I find out who my DLCD Regional Representative is?

Regional representatives provide technical assistance on the full scope of urban and rural planning matters. They answer questions, connect local and state staff, and help to ensure that land use plans comply with state requirements. Regional Representatives work closely with their state agencies to deliver coordinated service and information. Go to the Regional Representatives web page to learn more.

What is land use planning?

Comprehensive land use plans guide where and how development occurs in cities, counties, and special districts. One key aspect of this is controlling costly urban sprawl. This helps to protect the farms and forests outside city limits. Planned cities also tend to spend less on streets and public services compared to their sprawling counterparts. Because of this, both urban and rural areas benefit from comprehensive land use plans.

Who regulates land use planning?

Oregon's land use planning is locally regulated by cities and counties, with plans that meet Oregon's shared goals and guidelines; these are Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals. The state guidelines come from the Oregon Legislature, the Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). Local planning decisions are reviewed by DLCD and may be appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). When someone believes a city, county, or special district has made a land use decision that violates a local or state planning or zoning regulation, their recourse is to appeal the decision to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). An individual may also petition LCDC when one believes a local jurisdiction has not followed the land use planning rules and procedures as defined in Oregon laws and rules.

What can I do with my property?

The answer to this question depends on your local city or county and its regulations. It also depends on how your property is zoned. The best way to truly answer this question is to check with your local planning department, or look online for zoning maps and code information.

What is an Urban Growth Boundary and what does it do?

Each of Oregon's cities is surrounded by an urban growth boundary (UGB), a line drawn on planning and zoning maps to designate where a city expects to grow residentially, industrially and commercially over a 20-year period. Zoning restrictions in areas outside UGBs protect farm and forest resource land and prohibit "urban levels" of development. Urban Growth Boundaries are revisited over time and expanded outward, as growth occurs.

How many places have an Urban Growth Boundary?

All incorporated cities in Oregon have an Urban Growth Boundary or are within a regional UGB.

What is the relationship between an Urban Growth Boundary and Metro, the regional government of the Portland metropolitan area?

Metro maintains a regional urban growth boundary in which all 24 cities within the boundary, either wholly or partially within it and along with the urban areas of 3 counties, participate in the land use planning of the region.

Do UGBs change? And how are they changed?

Cities, counties, and special districts can amend their UGB through a comprehensive plan amendment. A UGB is adopted or expanded through a joint effort involving the city and county in coordination with special districts that provide important services in the urbanizable area. Amendments typically occur after unforeseen rapid growth or other special circumstances. Otherwise, comprehensive plans go through Periodic Review wherein the plan's UGB is re-evaluated and redrawn if needed.

What is an urban or rural reserve?

In 2007, the legislature authorized Metro and metro-area counties to designate urban and rural reserves by identifying lands that might be developed in the future and lands to be preserved for farming, forestry, and other rural uses.

What did Measure 49 do?

On November 6, 2007, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 49. Ballot Measure 49 refined the scope of Ballot Measure 37, which allowed landowners to apply for compensation or "waivers" from their government if land use regulations lowered their property's value. Measure 49 created two types of claims, former Measure 37 claims and new Measure 49 claims. The program for former Measure 37 claims ended in 2011. Claimants who chose to continue their Measure 37 claims under Measure 49 received final orders which can be found on the Measure 49 web page.

What happened to Measure 37 waivers?

Measure 37 waivers are no longer valid.

Can I file a Measure 49 claim?

You may file a Measure 49 claim for a new land use regulation if it has reduced the fair market value of your property. You have five years from the date the regulation was enacted to file a claim. A claim must be filed with the government or agency that enacted the regulation. You can find more information on filing new claims on the Measure 49 pages of the DLCD web site.

How do I find out if a property has a Measure 49 development right?

Former Measure 37 claims approved by DLCD under Measure 49 received a document called "Final Order and Home Site Authorization." These documents can be found on our web page here. You may also search for properties that received home site authorizations on our online mapping tool.

What agency makes and enforces the rules for growing and selling marijuana?

The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission are the lead agencies for medical and recreational marijuana, respectively.

There are many regulations surrounding the growing and selling of marijuana, managed by a number of agencies. Medical marijuana regulation is led by the Oregon Health Authority. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission leads the management of recreational marijuana. The Oregon Department of Agriculture also has rules that affect growing and selling marijuana.

How do I find out what rules apply to my property?

You can find guidelines on rules for medical marijuana production on the Oregon Health Authority website. Likewise, you can find recreational marijuana guidelines on the OLCC website. With that said, these guidelines will mostly just point you in the right direction. You should also reach out to your local city or county planning department.

Are the rules the same for producing marijuana for medical use and for recreational use?

No, they are managed by separate state agencies and are governed by different laws.

I'm a farmer. Can I grow marijuana on my farm?

Marijuana production is allowed in an Exclusive Farm Use zone. However, counties may require a permit. Take a look at our recreational marijuana land use guide for more detailed information.

Counties may allow marijuana production in other zones as well. Please contact your city or county planning department to find out if marijuana production is permitted on your property.

Can I process or sell marijuana on my property?

Small marijuana processing facilities are allowed in Exclusive Farm Use zones. A county permit is required. Cities and counties may allow processing in other zones as well.

Retail sales may be allowed by cities in counties. However, only wholesale sales are allowed in an Exclusive Farm Use zone.

Please contact your city or county planning department to find out if marijuana sales and processing are permitted on your property.

What is the difference between a natural hazard and a disaster?

Natural hazards are events that normally occur in the course of natural processes, and may also be triggered by human activity. Floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, wildfires, and winter storms are some but not all of the natural hazards that occur in Oregon. Natural hazard events are considered disasters when they damage property (structures, land, and the environment) or cause injury or loss of life.

What is natural hazards mitigation? How is it different from preparing for a natural hazard event?

Both natural hazards mitigation and preparation activities are done before a natural hazard event occurs. Mitigation activities reduce property damage and loss of life, while preparation activities get people and communities ready to survive after an event.

Examples of Mitigation: seismically retrofitting a school, elevating a home in the floodplain, building wildfire-resistant structures.

Examples of Preparation: informing residents and visitors of evacuation routes, storing sandbags, food, water, medicine, or other necessities outside hazard areas, making emergency kits.

How do we decide what mitigation actions to take to make our community safer?

Deciding what mitigation actions to take is part of the natural hazards mitigation planning process. By participating in your community's planning process, you would help identify and describe the natural hazards that may occur in your community; the property that may be damaged; and the people who may be injured or lose their lives. We refer to the likelihood of a hazard occurring together with its potential for impacting people and property as its risk. Once risk is described for each of your community's hazards, you would help establish mitigation goals, decide on and prioritize the mitigation actions that would reduce risk from each hazard, and develop a plan to accomplish the actions.

What is a Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (NHMP)?

An NHMP is one result of a natural hazards mitigation planning process. It documents the "risk assessment" or the hazards, vulnerabilities, and risks to people and property that were described during the planning process. It similarly documents the "mitigation strategy," the mitigation goals, actions, and implementation plan that were decided on based upon the risk assessment. The mitigation strategy also documents the capabilities of the community – its government's legal, financial, administrative, and professional resources, as well as community resources such as non-profit organizations and citizen groups – that can be called upon to achieve the mitigation actions. Finally, it sets out a system for continuing communication among participants and keeping the plan up to date.

Why does my community need an NHMP?

Communities benefit from mitigation planning by developing a clear understanding of their hazards and vulnerabilities and taking a proactive approach to reducing potential property damage and loss of life. With an NHMP, a community can also reduce the length of time that essential services are unavailable after a disaster; protect critical facilities; lessen economic hardship; speed recovery; and reduce construction costs. The planning process itself strengthens and builds community relationships, creates citizen networks, and encourages citizens to become advocates for natural hazard mitigation.

Is my community required to have an NHMP?

There is no Oregon statute or rule requiring communities to develop NHMPs. However, Statewide Planning Goal 7, Areas Subject to Natural Hazards, does require local governments to "adopt comprehensive plans (inventories, policies and implementing measures) to reduce risk to people and property from natural hazards." NHMPs provide much of the information needed to implement Goal 7.

The Stafford Act and Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 together are the basis for the Code of Federal Regulations governing mitigation planning (44 CFR 201) and establish NHMPs as a pre-requisite to obtaining certain grants for mitigation planning and on-the-ground projects from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). NHMPs must be reviewed, updated, and approved by FEMA every five years to keep them current and maintain eligibility for these grants. NHMPs are done by cities, counties, special districts, and tribes in Oregon and across the country. DLCD provides assistance to jurisdictions to develop and maintain NHMPs; integrate NHMPs with comprehensive plans; and to apply natural hazards data in developing policies and regulations.

Who is in charge of mitigation planning?

Generally, the county's or city's Emergency Manager or Planning Director is in charge of managing the mitigation planning process; continuing communication among participants during the five-year life of the plan; and keeping the plan updated and approved by FEMA. Oregon's office of Emergency Management maintains a contact list of county emergency managers.

What is Risk MAP?

DLCD coordinates the Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment, and Planning) program throughout Oregon. Risk MAP is the Federal Emergency Management program that produces Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs); multi-hazard maps and data; and risk assessment tools; and supports communities’ disaster resilience programs. Click here for more information.

What is NFIP?

DLCD coordinates the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Oregon through an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Staff provides assistance and training to local floodplain managers, property owners, surveyors, real estate agents, and others. Click here for more information.

How do I get an Elevation Certificate?

An Elevation Certificate will likely be needed by your insurance agent to purchase flood insurance from the NFIP. This document must be prepared by Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer. One key piece of information displayed on a completed elevation certificate is the base flood elevation (BFE), which is the expected elevation of a flood that has a 1% chance of happening in any given year. The relationship of the BFE to the elevation of the building’s floors helps determine the cost of flood insurance. Buildings having their lowest fully enclosed floor above base flood elevation often enjoy lower insurance costs than buildings with enclosed floors below the base flood elevation. Click here to read more about elevation certificates and the NFIP.

 

Contact

General Information
info@dlcd.state.or.us
Phone: 503-373-0050

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