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Housing Authority of Jackson County v. City of Medford

Court of Appeals of Oregon

October 1, 2014

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF JACKSON COUNTY, Respondent,
v.
CITY OF MEDFORD, Petitioner, and DAVID FROHNMAYER, MIRA FROHNMAYER, GERALD PRINGLE, HARRIET PRINGLE, CHRIS HILL, and DEVON FINLEY, Respondents

Submitted April 4, 2014

Land Use Board of Appeals. 2011089.

John R. Huttl filed the brief for petitioner.

Michael C. Robinson, Seth J. King, and Perkins Coie LLP filed the brief for respondent Housing Authority of Jackson County. No appearance for respondents David Frohnmayer, Mira Frohnmayer, Gerald Pringle, Harriet Pringle, Chris Hill, and Devon Finley.

Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Nakamoto, Judge, and Egan, Judge.

OPINION

Page 147

[265 Or.App. 649] ARMSTRONG, P. J.

The City of Medford seeks review of a Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) decision remanding the city's denial of an application by the Housing Authority of Jackson County to construct a multifamily housing complex in downtown Medford. After the case was submitted to us, we issued an order to the City of Medford to show cause why, in light of a settlement agreement reached among the parties, the petition for judicial review presents a justiciable controversy. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the case is moot and dismiss the petition for judicial review.

The Housing Authority of Jackson County is a public corporation with the mission of providing affordable housing for families in Jackson County. Toward that end, the housing authority sought approval from the City of Medford in March 2011 to construct a 100-unit, multifamily housing complex on a six-acre property that the housing authority owned in downtown Medford. The city's Site Plan and Architectural Review Committee (SPAC) reviewed and approved the housing authority's application, subject to conditions of approval. Thereafter, a group of citizens appealed SPAC's decision to the Medford City Council. The city council held a hearing on the housing authority's application at which the city council voted to uphold the citizens' appeal and deny the housing authority's application. Two weeks later, the city council voted to adopt a written decision denying the application.

The housing authority subsequently appealed to LUBA, raising five assignments of error. In a written decision sustaining four of the housing authority's assignments, LUBA remanded the city's decision. Housing Authority of Jackson County v. City of Medford, 65 Or. LUBA 295 (2012). At issue on review is only LUBA's conclusion that the mayor of Medford had violated ORS 227.180 by failing to disclose certain ex parte contacts and that that failure--along with other errors by the city council in denying petitioner's application--necessitated a remand.

The city petitioned for judicial review, and the parties thereafter moved to hold the case in abeyance while they pursued a settlement. In December 2012, the parties [265 Or.App. 650] entered into an " Agreement for Disposition and Development of Property and Settlement of Appeals." That agreement provided for the development by the housing authority of 100 units of multifamily housing in downtown Medford. Of the 100 units, 50 were to be developed on a portion of the housing authority's six-acre property. The remaining 50 units were to be developed on a second

Page 148

downtown property, which the city agreed to convey to the housing authority for that purpose. In exchange for that conveyance, the housing authority agreed to convey a portion of its original six-acre property to the city for use as an undeveloped buffer adjacent to a city park.

Regarding the pending applications for the development of the housing authority's downtown ...


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