The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals on April 29 voted to uphold Clatsop County’s 2013 ruling rejecting an application for construction of 41 miles of pipeline to serve a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Warrenton.
There is a 21-day window for the applicant, Oregon Pipeline LLC, to appeal LUBA’s ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
“In October 2013, the board of commissioners determined the application submitted by Oregon Pipeline LLC for the construction of a 41-mile high-pressure pipeline through Clatsop County did not comply with our Comprehensive Plan. Today we are pleased to learn that the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals upheld our decision to deny the application,” said board chairman Scott Lee.
LUBA rejected all or part of five of the eight “assignments of error” claimed by Oregon Pipeline and examined by the appeals panel for Wednesday’s ruling. They included findings by the board of commissioners that the proposed project fell short of county standards for compatibility with nearby residential uses, conflicts with other uses in aquatic land-use zones, and potential adverse impacts from construction of the pipeline using horizontal directional drilling.
The county commissioners originally approved Oregon Pipeline’s consolidated land-use application in November 2010, but two months later the board, with three new commissioners, voted to withdraw that approval. Following a lengthy legal process, in October 2013 the board formally rejected the application.
Oregon Pipeline appealed the decision to LUBA, which ruled last June that former commissioner Peter Huhtala demonstrated bias when he voted for the 2011 withdrawal and the 2013 denial, and directed the county to reconsider the application. Clatsop County appealed LUBA’s ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which overturned LUBA’s bias ruling and directed the state panel to examine the remainder of Oregon Pipeline’s petition.