Comprehensive Land Use Planning

ORS 197.732
Goal exceptions

  • criteria
  • rules
  • review


As used in this section:


“Compatible” is not intended as an absolute term meaning no interference or adverse impacts of any type with adjacent uses.


“Exception” means a comprehensive plan provision, including an amendment to an acknowledged comprehensive plan, that:


Is applicable to specific properties or situations and does not establish a planning or zoning policy of general applicability;


Does not comply with some or all goal requirements applicable to the subject properties or situations; and


Complies with standards under subsection (2) of this section.


A local government may adopt an exception to a goal if:


The land subject to the exception is physically developed to the extent that it is no longer available for uses allowed by the applicable goal;


The land subject to the exception is irrevocably committed as described by Land Conservation and Development Commission rule to uses not allowed by the applicable goal because existing adjacent uses and other relevant factors make uses allowed by the applicable goal impracticable; or


The following standards are met:


Reasons justify why the state policy embodied in the applicable goals should not apply;


Areas that do not require a new exception cannot reasonably accommodate the use;


The long term environmental, economic, social and energy consequences resulting from the use at the proposed site with measures designed to reduce adverse impacts are not significantly more adverse than would typically result from the same proposal being located in areas requiring a goal exception other than the proposed site; and


The proposed uses are compatible with other adjacent uses or will be so rendered through measures designed to reduce adverse impacts.


The commission shall adopt rules establishing:


That an exception may be adopted to allow a use authorized by a statewide planning goal that cannot comply with the approval standards for that type of use;


Under what circumstances particular reasons may or may not be used to justify an exception under subsection (2)(c)(A) of this section; and


Which uses allowed by the applicable goal must be found impracticable under subsection (2) of this section.


A local government approving or denying a proposed exception shall set forth findings of fact and a statement of reasons that demonstrate that the standards of subsection (2) of this section have or have not been met.


Each notice of a public hearing on a proposed exception shall specifically note that a goal exception is proposed and shall summarize the issues in an understandable manner.


Upon review of a decision approving or denying an exception:


The Land Use Board of Appeals or the commission shall be bound by any finding of fact for which there is substantial evidence in the record of the local government proceedings resulting in approval or denial of the exception;


The board upon petition, or the commission, shall determine whether the local government’s findings and reasons demonstrate that the standards of subsection (2) of this section have or have not been met; and


The board or commission shall adopt a clear statement of reasons that sets forth the basis for the determination that the standards of subsection (2) of this section have or have not been met.


The commission shall by rule establish the standards required to justify an exception to the definition of “needed housing” authorized by ORS 197.303 (“Needed housing” defined).


An exception acknowledged under ORS 197.251 (Compliance acknowledgment), 197.625 (Acknowledgment of comprehensive plan or land use regulation changes) or 197.630 (1) (1981 Replacement Part) on or before August 9, 1983, continues to be valid and is not subject to this section. [1983 c.827 §19a; 1995 c.521 §3; 2005 c.67 §1; 2007 c.71 §68; 2011 c.354 §6]

Notes of Decisions

Goal exception establishing standards for allowing rural residential development outside urban growth boundary if needed does not allow development based solely on general market demand, past development or market trends. 1000 Friends of Oregon v. LCDC, 69 Or App 717, 688 P2d 103 (1984)

There must be substantial evidence beyond fact of development itself that farming practices would be impeded by residential development. Prentice v. LCDC, 71 Or App 394, 692 P2d 642 (1984)

Existing nonresource use is insufficient basis to allow prospective nonresource use unless existing use creates need for additional nonresource development in future. Ludwick v. Yamhill County, 72 Or App 224, 696 P2d 536 (1985), Sup Ct review denied

New exceptions criteria apply to all plans not acknowledged when new criteria went into effect. 1000 Friends of Oregon v. LCDC, 75 Or App 199, 706 P2d 987 (1985), Sup Ct review denied

Exception for physical development may be based on developed area only and does not entail consideration of tract of which it is part, unless nonresource use of other parts of tract is also proposed. Denison v. Douglas County, 101 Or App 131, 789 P2d 1388 (1990)

Exception for physical development may be allowed without demonstrating that conditions permitting agricultural use cannot be restored. Denison v. Douglas County, 101 Or App 131, 789 P2d 1388 (1990)

Local government may not take exception to statewide planning goal for purpose of allowing proposed use that is permissible under goal. Department of Land Conservation and Development v. Yamhill County, 183 Or App 556, 53 P3d 462 (2002)

Law Review Citations

19 EL 60 (1988)

Chapter 197

Notes of Decisions

A comprehensive plan, although denominated a "resolution," is the controlling land use planning instrument for a city; upon its passage, the city assumes responsibility to effectuate the plan and conform zoning ordinances, including prior existing zoning ordinances, to it. Baker v. City of Milwaukie, 271 Or 500, 533 P2d 772 (1975)

Procedural requirements of the state-wide planning goals adopted by the Land Conservation and Development Commission are not applicable to ordinances adopted before the effective date of the goals. Schmidt v. Land Conservation and Development Comm., 29 Or App 665, 564 P2d 1090 (1977)

This chapter, establishing LCDC and granting it authority to establish state-wide land use planning goals, does not unconstitutionally delegate legislative power where both standards (ORS chapter 215) and safeguards ([former] ORS 197.310) exist. Meyer v. Lord, 37 Or App 59, 586 P2d 367 (1978)

Where county's comprehensive plan and land use regulations had not been acknowledged by LCDC, it was proper for county to apply state-wide planning standards directly to individual request for partition. Alexanderson v. Polk County Commissioners, 289 Or 427, 616 P2d 459 (1980)

Issuance of a building permit was a "land conservation and development action" where county had no acknowledged comprehensive plan, land was not zoned and no previous land use decision had been made regarding the land. Columbia Hills v. LCDC, 50 Or App 483, 624 P2d 157 (1981), Sup Ct review denied

Nothing in this chapter grants the Land Conservation and Development Department authority to challenge local land use decisions made after comprehensive plan acknowledgment. Ochoco Const. v. LCDC, 295 Or 422, 667 P2d 499 (1983)

LCDC has authority in periodic review process to require local government to add specific language or provisions to its land use legislation to assure compliance with statewide goals and LCDC rules. Oregonians in Action v. LCDC, 121 Or App 497, 854 P2d 1010 (1993), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of a land conservation and development commission to bind the state in an interstate compact or agreement, (1973) Vol 36, p 361; application of Fasano v. Bd. of County Commrs., (1974) Vol 36, p 960; state-wide planning goal in conjunction with interim Willamette River Greenway boundaries, (1975) Vol 37, p 894; binding effect on governmental agencies of the adoption of interim Willamette River Greenway boundaries, (1975) Vol 37, p 894; application to state agencies, (1976) Vol 37, p 1129; preexisting ordinances during the interim implementing stage, (1976) Vol 37, p 1329; constitutionality of delegation to LCDC of authority to prescribe and enforce statewide planning goals, (1977) Vol 38, p 1130; effect of situation where similar petition is filed before both commission and a court, (1977) Vol 38, p 1268; consideration of availability of public school facilities in determination of whether to approve subdivision, (1978) Vol 38, p 1956

Law Review Citations

10 WLJ 99 (1973); 53 OLR 129 (1974); 5 EL 673 (1975); 54 OLR 203-223 (1975); 56 OLR 444 (1977); 18 WLR 49 (1982); 61 OLR 351 (1982); 20 WLR 764 (1984); 14 EL 661, 693, 713, 779, 843 (1984); 25 WLR 259 (1989); 31 WLR 147, 449, 817 (1995); 36 EL 25 (2006); 49 WLR 411 (2013)


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Jun. 26, 2021