2011 ORS § 227.178¹
Final action on certain applications required within 120 days
  • procedure
  • exceptions
  • refund of fees

(1) Except as provided in subsections (3), (5) and (11) of this section, the governing body of a city or its designee shall take final action on an application for a permit, limited land use decision or zone change, including resolution of all appeals under ORS 227.180 (Review of action on permit application), within 120 days after the application is deemed complete.

(2) If an application for a permit, limited land use decision or zone change is incomplete, the governing body or its designee shall notify the applicant in writing of exactly what information is missing within 30 days of receipt of the application and allow the applicant to submit the missing information. The application shall be deemed complete for the purpose of subsection (1) of this section upon receipt by the governing body or its designee of:

(a) All of the missing information;

(b) Some of the missing information and written notice from the applicant that no other information will be provided; or

(c) Written notice from the applicant that none of the missing information will be provided.

(3)(a) If the application was complete when first submitted or the applicant submits the requested additional information within 180 days of the date the application was first submitted and the city has a comprehensive plan and land use regulations acknowledged under ORS 197.251 (Compliance acknowledgment), approval or denial of the application shall be based upon the standards and criteria that were applicable at the time the application was first submitted.

(b) If the application is for industrial or traded sector development of a site identified under section 12, chapter 800, Oregon Laws 2003, and proposes an amendment to the comprehensive plan, approval or denial of the application must be based upon the standards and criteria that were applicable at the time the application was first submitted, provided the application complies with paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(4) On the 181st day after first being submitted, the application is void if the applicant has been notified of the missing information as required under subsection (2) of this section and has not submitted:

(a) All of the missing information;

(b) Some of the missing information and written notice that no other information will be provided; or

(c) Written notice that none of the missing information will be provided.

(5) The 120-day period set in subsection (1) of this section may be extended for a specified period of time at the written request of the applicant. The total of all extensions, except as provided in subsection (11) of this section for mediation, may not exceed 245 days.

(6) The 120-day period set in subsection (1) of this section applies:

(a) Only to decisions wholly within the authority and control of the governing body of the city; and

(b) Unless the parties have agreed to mediation as described in subsection (11) of this section or ORS 197.319 (Procedures prior to request of an enforcement order) (2)(b).

(7) Notwithstanding subsection (6) of this section, the 120-day period set in subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a decision of the city making a change to an acknowledged comprehensive plan or a land use regulation that is submitted to the Director of the Department of Land Conservation and Development under ORS 197.610 (Submission of proposed comprehensive plan or land use regulation changes to Department of Land Conservation and Development).

(8) Except when an applicant requests an extension under subsection (5) of this section, if the governing body of the city or its designee does not take final action on an application for a permit, limited land use decision or zone change within 120 days after the application is deemed complete, the city shall refund to the applicant, subject to the provisions of subsection (9) of this section, either the unexpended portion of any application fees or deposits previously paid or 50 percent of the total amount of such fees or deposits, whichever is greater. The applicant is not liable for additional governmental fees incurred subsequent to the payment of such fees or deposits. However, the applicant is responsible for the costs of providing sufficient additional information to address relevant issues identified in the consideration of the application.

(9)(a) To obtain a refund under subsection (8) of this section, the applicant may either:

(A) Submit a written request for payment, either by mail or in person, to the city or its designee; or

(B) Include the amount claimed in a mandamus petition filed under ORS 227.179 (Petition for writ of mandamus authorized when city fails to take final action on land use application within 120 days). The court shall award an amount owed under this section in its final order on the petition.

(b) Within seven calendar days of receiving a request for a refund, the city or its designee shall determine the amount of any refund owed. Payment, or notice that no payment is due, shall be made to the applicant within 30 calendar days of receiving the request. Any amount due and not paid within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request shall be subject to interest charges at the rate of one percent per month, or a portion thereof.

(c) If payment due under paragraph (b) of this subsection is not paid within 120 days after the city or its designee receives the refund request, the applicant may file an action for recovery of the unpaid refund. In an action brought by a person under this paragraph, the court shall award to a prevailing applicant, in addition to the relief provided in this section, reasonable attorney fees and costs at trial and on appeal. If the city or its designee prevails, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees and costs at trial and on appeal if the court finds the petition to be frivolous.

(10) A city may not compel an applicant to waive the 120-day period set in subsection (1) of this section or to waive the provisions of subsection (8) of this section or ORS 227.179 (Petition for writ of mandamus authorized when city fails to take final action on land use application within 120 days) as a condition for taking any action on an application for a permit, limited land use decision or zone change except when such applications are filed concurrently and considered jointly with a plan amendment.

(11) The period set forth in subsection (1) of this section and the period set forth in subsection (5) of this section may be extended by up to 90 additional days, if the applicant and the city agree that a dispute concerning the application will be mediated. [1983 c.827 §27; 1989 c.761 §16; 1991 c.817 §15; 1995 c.812 §3; 1997 c.844 §8; 1999 c.533 §8; 2003 c.150 §1; 2003 c.800 §31; 2009 c.873 §16; 2011 c.280 §12]