City Planning and Zoning

ORS 227.180
Review of action on permit application

  • fees


(a) A party aggrieved by the action of a hearings officer may appeal the action to the planning commission or council of the city, or both, however the council prescribes. The appellate authority on its own motion may review the action. The procedure for such an appeal or review shall be prescribed by the council, but shall:


Not require that the appeal be filed within less than seven days after the date the governing body mails or delivers the decision of the hearings officer to the parties;


Require a hearing at least for argument; and


Require that upon appeal or review the appellate authority consider the record of the hearings officer’s action. That record need not set forth evidence verbatim.


Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection, the council may provide that the decision of a hearings officer or other decision-making authority in a proceeding for a discretionary permit or zone change is the final determination of the city.


The governing body may prescribe, by ordinance or regulation, fees to defray the costs incurred in acting upon an appeal from a hearings officer, planning commission or other designated person. The amount of the fee shall be reasonable and shall be no more than the average cost of such appeals or the actual cost of the appeal, excluding the cost of preparation of a written transcript. The governing body may establish a fee for the preparation of a written transcript. The fee shall be reasonable and shall not exceed the actual cost of preparing the transcript up to $500. In lieu of a transcript prepared by the governing body and the fee therefor, the governing body shall allow any party to an appeal proceeding held on the record to prepare a transcript of relevant portions of the proceedings conducted at a lower level at the party’s own expense. If an appellant prevails at a hearing or on appeal, the transcript fee shall be refunded.


A party aggrieved by the final determination in a proceeding for a discretionary permit or zone change may have the determination reviewed under ORS 197.830 (Review procedures) to 197.845 (Stay of decision being reviewed).


No decision or action of a planning commission or city governing body shall be invalid due to ex parte contact or bias resulting from ex parte contact with a member of the decision-making body, if the member of the decision-making body receiving the contact:


Places on the record the substance of any written or oral ex parte communications concerning the decision or action; and


Has a public announcement of the content of the communication and of the parties’ right to rebut the substance of the communication made at the first hearing following the communication where action will be considered or taken on the subject to which the communication related.


A communication between city staff and the planning commission or governing body shall not be considered an ex parte contact for the purposes of subsection (3) of this section.


Subsection (3) of this section does not apply to ex parte contact with a hearings officer. [1973 c.739 §§11,12; 1975 c.767 §9; 1979 c.772 §12; 1981 c.748 §43; 1983 c.656 §2; 1983 c.827 §25; 1991 c.817 §12]

Notes of Decisions

Letter from city attorney to members of governing body, sent after hearing was concluded, was properly excluded from city's record on appeal to LUBA and opponent of city's decision had no right to rebut or be apprised of letter's contents. Dickas v. City of Beaverton, 92 Or App 168, 757 P2d 451 (1988)

This section requires that parties to proceeding have greatest possible opportunity to prepare for and present rebuttal in response to evidence included in ex parte communication and city council member's failure to disclose ex parte communication at first council meeting following communication deprived petitioner of substantive right and required new hearing before council. Horizon Construction, Inc. v. City of Newberg, 114 Or App 249, 835 P2d 523 (1992)

Adequate Remedy Under This Section for Ex Parte Communication Is Remand That Ensures That

1) interested persons are made aware of substance of ex parte communication; 2) interested persons are given opportunity to prepare and present evidentiary and rhetorical responses to substance of ex parte communication; and 3) deciding body reevaluates original decision and issues appropriate new written decision that takes into account evidence and argument in original record viewed together with evidence and argument presented on remand. Opp v. City of Portland, 171 Or App 417, 16 P3d 520 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Citations

55 OLR 122-140 (1976)

§§ 227.160 to 227.185

Notes of Decisions

References to application for permits and zone changes do not prevent use of quasi-judicial proceeding in other types of land use decisions. Department of Transportation v. City of Mosier, 161 Or App 252, 984 P2d 351 (1999)

Law Review Citations

10 WLJ 395 (1974); 68 OLR 1005 (1989)

Chapter 227

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Fasano v. Bd. of County Commrs., application to city governing bodies and planning commissions, (1974) Vol 36, p 960


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021