New CAP case looks at Measure 49 in Yamhill County

Mary Kyle McCurdy
Wed, 04/27/2016 - 2:35pm

1000 Friends of Oregon’s Cooperating Attorneys Program (CAP) was created in 1982 by former staff attorney and Executive Director Robert Liberty.  The purpose of the CAP program is to augment the legal capacity of the staff attorneys, by providing more legal resources to individuals and the land use program.  The success of this program depends on the many generous attorneys around Oregon who have donated their time and energy to representing many Oregonians around the state for more than three decades.

Currently, CAP attorney Ian Simpson is representing Friends of Yamhill County, a local organization affiliated with 1000 Friends.  The case involves implementation of Measure 49 and protection of farm land. Here’s what happened…

Measure 49 allows qualifying land parcels to be partitioned into up to three parcels under the so-called "express path." On high value farm or forest soils, two parcels can be up to two acres in size, so as to leave a remaining parcel large enough and suitable for resource use.  Measure 49 also requires that the parcels be clustered so that the maximum amount of potential for farming or forestry is left in the remainder parcel.

In a recent case, Yamhill County properly granted partitions of two Measure 49 qualifying properties, on high value soils. The Measure 49 claim was partitioned into three parcels of appropriate size.  However, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners recently approved lot-line adjustments that the Friends of Yamhill County argue are illegal under Measure 49 and compromise farming. This is an ideal CAP case. We coordinated with local volunteer attorney, Ian Simpson, to represent Friends of Yamhill County before the Land Use Board of Appeals.

1000 Friends of Oregon greatly appreciates the generosity of Mr. Simpson for taking this case, and for all other CAP attorneys who donate their time and expertise to ensure that Oregon’s land use system works and that we are all playing by the rules.