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BOARD WILL TAKE UP OREGON PIPELINE APPLICATION OCT. 9
The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners will again take up the consolidated land-use application from Oregon Pipeline Company at a public hearing Oct. 9.
After a lengthy legal dispute over jurisdictional issues, the county has been given the go-ahead by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) to resume its reconsideration of the application, which seeks approval for construction of 41 miles of pipeline to serve a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Warrenton.
The Oct. 9 public hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria, and will be continued to Oct. 23 if necessary. Oral testimony will only be accepted at the hearing from the applicant, Oregon Pipeline Company LLC, and Columbia Riverkeeper, a project opponent. The general public, however, will be able to submit written comments to the board; those comments may be mailed to Clatsop County Community Development Department, 800 Exchange St., Suite 100, Astoria OR 97103; faxed to (503) 338-3606; or emailed to email@example.com.
The deadline for comment submission is 5 p.m. Sept. 25. Comments must address issues contained in the existing record.
In March 2011 the board of commissioners gave preliminary approval to findings of fact that denied the consolidated application. Before the board could take final action on the findings, the proceedings were put on hold as a result of a legal challenge to the county’s jurisdiction filed by Oregon Pipeline that was finally resolved, in the county’s favor, in March 2013.
On Aug. 29, LUBA approved a motion from Clatsop County to resume the reconsideration process, and set a 90-day deadline for final action.
Oregon Pipeline originally submitted a land-use application seeking conditional use, review use and geological hazard permits to the county in 2009. In November 2010 the board of commissioners approved the application, but in January 2011 the board, with three new members, voted to withdraw the November approval for reconsideration.
Prior to the March 2011 reconsideration hearing, Oregon Pipeline filed a writ of mandamus motion in Clatsop County Circuit Court, claiming that the board’s vote to withdraw the November 2010 approval ruling was made after the state-mandated time limit for land-use decisions, and that as a result the board did not have authority to undo the approval decision. The legal challenge effectively put the county’s reconsideration process on hold and prevented the board from taking final action until the mandamus issue was settled.
The circuit court denied Oregon Pipeline’s motion, a ruling that was upheld by the Oregon Court of Appeals and denied review by the Oregon Supreme Court.
The Oct. 9 proceeding will constitute a new hearing and will replace the March 9, 2011 proceeding.
All documents related to the Oregon Pipeline application can be viewed in person at the Community Development office, 800 Exchange St., Suite 100 in Astoria during normal business hours, or can be viewed online here.