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Help Joseph Schaefer Defend Oregon's Land Use System

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Marion County (OR) Circuit Court Ruling strips right of citizens… and creates opportunity for payback!

Should citizens, members of the public, have the legal right to challenge government decisions or seek enforcement when a government agency chooses not to comply with the law!

Not according to a recent Marion County Circuit Court ruling which not only challenges that public right, but has also brought legal action against a person who has worked for years to assure that development and expansion at the Aurora Airport is legal.

Specifically, because of this recent Circuit Court ruling, the major developer at the Aurora Airport and his sewer association are demanding that Joseph Schaefer pay them $357,000 in legal fees incurred in fighting his enforcement of the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) ruling against them. The Circuit court dismissed Schaefer’s enforcement case because he is not a party to TLM’s permits – yet no project opponent is ever a party to an unlawful permit. Thus no project opponent can enforce a LUBA decision in their favor in the Circuit Court.

Doesn’t the Circuit Court ruling turn the LUBA reversal on its head?

One has to ask how the Circuit Court could rule this way? If a citizen lacks standing to enforce a LUBA ruling in the citizen’s favor, then doesn’t that mean the public has no standing? If the public lacks standing, then does that mean compliance with a LUBA ruling is optional and no one can enforce it? The Marion County circuit Court thinks so.

Over the last decade we’ve seen bits and pieces of the land use system dismantled or eroded, and now we’re looking at a court decision that removes accountability. Now not only is Joseph Schaefer forced to appeal to the Court of Appeals (for the fifth time is as many years) to have that court fix the problem, but in the face of the Circuit Court ruling, TLM Holdings and HDSE Sewer Association demand $357,000 in legal expenses. FOFP is launching a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds for Joseph Schaefer’s legal defense.

This ruling exposes a serious flaw in our land use system that needs to be corrected, but two well-funded business entities trying to shut down a successful challenger through a huge legal countersuit.

Click here to read the entire post on the Friends of French Prairie website and access both the LUBA and Circuit Court Rulings.

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Friends French Prairie
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Donald, OR

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