Local Government Boundary Commissions

ORS 199.410


The Legislative Assembly finds that:


A fragmented approach has developed to public services provided by local government. Fragmentation results in duplications in services and resistance to cooperation and is a barrier to planning implementation. Such an approach has limited the orderly development and growth of Oregon’s urban areas to the detriment of the citizens of this state.


The programs and growth of each unit of local government affect not only that particular unit but also the activities and programs of a variety of other units within each urban area.


As local programs become increasingly intergovernmental, the state has a responsibility to insure orderly determination and adjustment of local government boundaries to best meet the needs of the people.


Local comprehensive plans define local land uses but may not specify which units of local government are to provide public services when those services are required.


Urban population densities and intensive development require a broad spectrum and high level of community services and controls. When areas become urbanized and require the full range of community services, priorities are required regarding the type and levels of services that the residents need and desire. Community service priorities need to be established by weighing the total service needs against the total financial resources available for securing services. Those service priorities are required to reflect local circumstances, conditions and limited financial resources. A single governmental agency, rather than several governmental agencies is in most cases better able to assess the financial resources and therefore is the best mechanism for establishing community service priorities.


It is the intent of the Legislative Assembly that each boundary commission establish policies and exercise its powers under this chapter in order to create a governmental structure that promotes efficiency and economy in providing the widest range of necessary services in a manner that encourages and provides planned, well-ordered and efficient development patterns.


The purposes of ORS 199.410 (Policy) to 199.534 (Legislative annexation of territory to cities and districts) are to:


Provide a method for guiding the creation and growth of cities and special service districts in Oregon in order to prevent illogical extensions of local government boundaries and to encourage the reorganization of overlapping governmental agencies;


Assure adequate quality and quantity of public services and the financial integrity of each unit of local government;


Provide an impartial forum for the resolution of local government jurisdictional questions;


Provide that boundary determinations are consistent with acknowledged local comprehensive plans and are, in conformance with statewide planning goals. In making boundary determinations the commission shall first consider the acknowledged comprehensive plan for consistency of its action. Only when the acknowledged local comprehensive plan provides inadequate policy direction shall the commission consider the statewide planning goals. The commission shall consider the timing, phasing and availability of services in making a boundary determination; and


Reduce the fragmented approach to service delivery by encouraging single agency service delivery over service delivery by several agencies. [1969 c.494 §1; 1981 c.265 §1; 1989 c.92 §8; 1997 c.541 §347]

Notes of Decisions

Boundary Commission should have addressed effect on city's continuing financial viability of proposed annexation of undeveloped land to neighboring city, effect of proposed annexation on unincorporated "island" which would have been created by annexation, and effect of annexation on existing fire district where sufficient evidence was presented to raise these issues. City of Wood Village v. Portland Metro. Area LGBC, 48 Or App 79, 616 P2d 528 (1980)

Statutory recitation of general considerations of policy and purpose does not constitute specific approval criteria that dictate particular results. Multnomah County Rural Fire v. Portland Metro. Area, 126 Or App 351, 868 P2d 783 (1994)

§§ 199.410 to 199.512

Notes of Decisions

The statutory scheme of authority and procedures for commissions created by this Act, plus adherence to the prescribed procedure as set out in the Act, release the commissions from the limitations placed upon local governmental bodies in zone-change matters in Fasano v. Washington County Comm., 264 Or 574, 507 P2d 23 (1973). Marion County Fire Dist. 1 v. Marion-Polk County Local Govt. Boundary Comm., 19 Or App 108, 526 P2d 1031 (1974), Sup Ct review denied

In Proceeding Involving Proposed Merger of Three Water Districts

1) no election was required before commission order approving merger could take effect; 2) commission made the findings required by statute; 3) commission's findings were supported by substantial evidence, adequate for review and sufficient to support its order; and 4) these sections did not constitute invalid delegation of legislative power. Redland Water District v. Portland Metro. Area LGBC, 63 Or App 641, 665 P2d 1241 (1983), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Dissolution of insolvent metropolitan service district, (1972) Vol 35, p 1117


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Jun. 26, 2021