Roads End residents who hired lawyers to try to stop their area’s annexation into Lincoln City, by appealing to the state, struck out repeatedly on their points of contention that the city failed to comply with state land use laws and other state statutes. As a result, the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) denied their appeal of the annexation which is expected to take effect July 1st. Mayor Dick Anderson told News Lincoln County that the city fully intends to proceed with the annexation effective July 1 with an immediate 50% reduction in sewer and water fees for Roads End customers along with the initiation of police patrols throughout the Roads End area as enjoyed by other residents of Lincoln City. Roads End residents complain that the annexation will also raise their property taxes substantially.
Opponents first allegation of improper annexation was that although the city appeared to have enough property owners agreeing to be annexed, some had withdrawn their signed permission documents leaving the city with less than the “triple majority” requirement under the law when an election is not held. Triple majority means more than 50% of the land area, more than 50% of assessed property value and 50% of the population. LUBA responded that the city’s “consent to annexation form” contained a no withdrawal provision so that the signature legally bound the current and all future potential owners of the property. Other allegations that the city was in violation of Federal Housing Administration provisions “is between the city and FHA,” said LUBA – “It does not apply to Oregon Land Use Law.”
Opponents contend the city’s annexation application disregarded state Planning Goal 5 which takes into account impacts to natural resources, scenic views, historic sites and open space. However, LUBA ruled that since the city was annexing the area “as is” with no prospective changes in the county’s land use plan or zoning for the area (which is what it is now) an appeal based on Goal 5 is immaterial.
Opponents contented that state land use Goal 9 was being violated, in that the city did not account for changes in the way it is likely to treat vacation home rentals in Roads End after the annexation. LUBA ruled that Vacation Home Rental licensing policies do not appreciably affect the economic condition of the area as well as the fact that established county zoning will be legally in force after the annexation.
Opponents next argued that the annexation should be denied since the city makes no determination relative to housing policies in the Roads End area, and thereby violates state land use Goal 10. LUBA ruled again, county zoning will be in force after the annexation and therefore not subject to Goal 10. The same LUBA finding pertained to complaints that the city did not address impacts to river mouths, shorelands, beaches and dunes. County land use designations would also be in force in those annexed areas after the annexation.
In terms of Goal 2, Land Use Planning, LUBA ruled that although the Roads End Water District and Roads End Sewer District board of directors (some of whom were party to the appeal to LUBA) contend there was no effort made by Lincoln City to work cooperatively with the districts, there really isn’t much to cooperate about. The Roads End Water District has no water or water distribution system (it’s all Lincoln City infrastructure), and the Roads End Sewer District, although they have pipes, they’re all connected to the Lincoln City sewer system and sewer treatment plant.
And finally, opponents contention that state land use planning Goal 12, Transportation, is not adequately addressed by the city’s intent to annex Roads End, LUBA ruled that since existing county land use plan designations and zoning will remain in effect, the opponents to annexation have no basis to stop Lincoln City’s annexation of Roads End.
If the opponents disagree with LUBA’s rulings their next rung up the legal ladder is the State Court of Appeals in Salem. After that, it’s the Oregon Supreme Court.