Oregon Land Conservation and Development Department

Rule Rule 660-033-0100
Minimum Parcel Size Requirements


(1)

Counties shall establish minimum sizes for new parcels for land zoned for exclusive farm use. For land not designated rangeland, the minimum parcel size shall be at least 80 acres. For land designated rangeland, the minimum parcel size shall be at least 160 acres.

(2)

A county may adopt a minimum parcel size lower than that described in section (1) of this rule by demonstrating to the Commission that it can do so while continuing to meet the requirements of ORS 215.243 (Agricultural land use policy) and that parcel sizes below the 80 or 160 acre minimum sizes are appropriate to maintain the existing commercial agricultural enterprise within an area. This standard is intended to prevent division of farmland into parcels that are too small to contribute to commercial agriculture in an area. This standard does not require that every new parcel created be as large as existing farms or ranches in an area. The minimum parcel size may allow creation of parcels smaller than the size of existing farms or ranches. However, the minimum parcel size shall be large enough to keep commercial farms and ranches in the area successful and not contribute to their decline. Lots or parcels used, or to be used, for training or stabling facilities shall not be considered appropriate to maintain the existing commercial agricultural enterprise in any area where other types of agriculture occur.

(a)

To determine a minimum parcel size under this section, the county shall complete the following steps:

(A)

Identify different agricultural areas within the county, if any;

(B)

Determine the nature of the commercial agricultural enterprise in the county, or within areas of the county;

(C)

Identify the type(s) and size(s) of farms or ranches that comprise this commercial agricultural enterprise; and

(D)

Determine the minimum size for new parcels that will maintain this commercial agricultural enterprise.

(b)

To determine whether there are distinct agricultural areas in a county, the county should consider soils, topography and land forms, land use patterns, farm sizes, ranch sizes and field sizes, acreage devoted to principal crops, and grazing areas and accepted farming practices for the principal crops and types of livestock.

(c)

To determine the nature of the existing commercial agricultural enterprise within an area, a county shall identify the following characteristics of farms and ranches in the area: Type and size of farms and ranches, size of fields or other parts, acreage devoted to principal crops, the relative contribution of the different types and sizes of farms and ranches to the county’s gross farm sales, and their contribution to local processors and established farm markets. The following sources may assist in a county’s analysis: The most recent Census of Agriculture and special tabulations from the census developed by Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (AACS), Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Oregon State University Extension Service and the county assessor’s office.

(d)

To determine the minimum parcel size, a county shall evaluate available data and choose a size that maintains the existing commercial agricultural enterprise within the county or within each area of the county. In areas where the size of commercial farms and ranches is mixed, and the size of parcels needed to maintain those commercial farms and ranches varies, the county shall not choose a minimum parcel size that allows larger farms, lots or parcels to be divided to the size of the smallest farms, lots or parcels in the area. The activities of the larger as well as smaller holdings must be maintained.

(3)

A minimum size for new parcels for farm use does not mean that dwellings may be approved automatically on parcels that satisfy the minimum parcel size for the area. New dwellings in conjunction with farm use shall satisfy the criteria for such dwellings set forth in OAR 660-033-0130 (Minimum Standards Applicable to the Schedule of Permitted and Conditional Uses)(1).

(4)

A minimum size for new parcels may be appropriate to maintain the existing agricultural enterprise in the area, but it may not be adequate to protect wildlife habitat pursuant to Goal 5. When farmland is located in areas of wildlife habitat, the provisions of Goal 5 continue to apply.

(5)

A county may choose to establish a different minimum parcel size for distinct commercial agricultural areas of the county. The appropriate minimum lot or parcel size for each area shall reflect the type of commercial agriculture in the area, consistent with section (2) of this rule.
(6) Counties may allow the creation of new parcels for nonfarm uses only as authorized by ORS 215.263 (Land divisions in exclusive farm use zones). Such new parcels shall be the minimum size needed to accommodate the use in a manner consistent with other provisions of law except as required for the nonfarm dwellings authorized by section (7) of this rule. Land that is divided under this section pursuant to ORS 215.213 (Uses permitted in exclusive farm use zones in counties that adopted marginal lands system prior to 1993)(1)(c) or 215.283 (Uses permitted in exclusive farm use zones in nonmarginal lands counties)(1)(c) may not later be rezoned by the county for retail, commercial, industrial or other nonresource use, except as provided under the statewide land use planning goals or under ORS 197.732 (Goal exceptions).
(7)(a) Counties may allow the creation of new lots or parcels for dwellings not in conjunction with farm use pursuant to ORS 215.263 (Land divisions in exclusive farm use zones)(4) or (5), whichever is applicable.

(b)

In the Willamette Valley, a new lot or parcel may be allowed if the originating lot or parcel is equal to or larger than the applicable minimum lot or parcel size, and:

(A)

Is not stocked to the requirements under ORS 527.610 (Short title) to 527.770 (Good faith compliance with best management practices not violation of water quality standards);

(B)

Is composed of at least 95 percent Class VI through VIII soils; and

(C)

Is composed of at least 95 percent soils not capable of producing 50 cubic feet per acre per year of wood fiber; and

(D)

The new lot or parcel will not be smaller than 20 acres.

(c)

No new lot or parcel may be created for this purpose until the county finds that the dwelling to be sited on the new lot or parcel has been approved under the requirements for dwellings not in conjunction with farm use in ORS 215.284 (Dwelling not in conjunction with farm use)(3) or (4), 215.236 (Nonfarm dwelling in exclusive farm use zone) and OAR 660-033-0130 (Minimum Standards Applicable to the Schedule of Permitted and Conditional Uses)(4).

(8)

The county governing body or its designate may not approve a land division or property line adjustment of a lot or parcel that separates a temporary hardship dwelling, relative farm help dwelling, home occupation or processing facility from the parcel on which the primary residential or other primary use exists.

(9)

The county governing body or its designate may not approve a land division of a lot or parcel created before January 1, 1993, on which a nonfarm dwelling was approved pursuant to ORS 215.284 (Dwelling not in conjunction with farm use)(1).

(10)

A division of a lawfully established unit of land may occur along an urban growth boundary where the parcel remaining outside the urban growth boundary is zoned for agricultural uses and is smaller than the minimum parcel size, provided that:

(a)

If the parcel contains a dwelling, the parcel must be large enough to support continued residential use.

(b)

If the parcel does not contain a dwelling, it:

(A)

Is not eligible for siting a dwelling, except as may be authorized under ORS 195.120 (Rules and planning goal amendments for parks required);

(B)

May not be considered in approving or denying an application for any other dwelling; and

(C)

May not be considered in approving a redesignation or rezoning of agricultural lands, except to allow a public park, open space or other natural resource use.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021