2015 ORS 215.284¹
Dwelling not in conjunction with farm use
  • existing lots or parcels
  • new lots or parcels

(1) In the Willamette Valley, a single-family residential dwelling not provided in conjunction with farm use may be established, subject to approval of the governing body or its designee, in any area zoned for exclusive farm use upon a finding that:

(a) The dwelling or activities associated with the dwelling will not force a significant change in or significantly increase the cost of accepted farming or forest practices on nearby lands devoted to farm or forest use;

(b) The dwelling will be sited on a lot or parcel that is predominantly composed of Class IV through Class VIII soils that would not, when irrigated, be classified as prime, unique, Class I or Class II soils;

(c) The dwelling will be sited on a lot or parcel created before January 1, 1993;

(d) The dwelling will not materially alter the stability of the overall land use pattern of the area; and

(e) The dwelling complies with such other conditions as the governing body or its designee considers necessary.

(2) In counties not described in subsection (1) of this section, a single-family residential dwelling not provided in conjunction with farm use may be established, subject to approval of the governing body or its designee, in any area zoned for exclusive farm use upon a finding that:

(a) The dwelling or activities associated with the dwelling will not force a significant change in or significantly increase the cost of accepted farming or forest practices on nearby lands devoted to farm or forest use;

(b) The dwelling is situated upon a lot or parcel or portion of a lot or parcel that is generally unsuitable land for the production of farm crops and livestock or merchantable tree species, considering the terrain, adverse soil or land conditions, drainage and flooding, vegetation, location and size of the tract. A lot or parcel or portion of a lot or parcel may not be considered unsuitable solely because of size or location if it can reasonably be put to farm or forest use in conjunction with other land;

(c) The dwelling will be sited on a lot or parcel created before January 1, 1993;

(d) The dwelling will not materially alter the stability of the overall land use pattern of the area; and

(e) The dwelling complies with such other conditions as the governing body or its designee considers necessary.

(3) In counties in western Oregon, as defined in ORS 321.257 (Definitions for ORS 321.257 to 321.390), not described in subsection (4) of this section, a single-family residential dwelling not provided in conjunction with farm use may be established, subject to approval of the governing body or its designee, in any area zoned for exclusive farm use upon a finding that:

(a) The dwelling or activities associated with the dwelling will not force a significant change in or significantly increase the cost of accepted farming or forest practices on nearby lands devoted to farm or forest use;

(b) The dwelling is situated upon a lot or parcel or portion of a lot or parcel that is generally unsuitable land for the production of farm crops and livestock or merchantable tree species, considering the terrain, adverse soil or land conditions, drainage and flooding, vegetation, location and size of the tract. A lot or parcel or portion of a lot or parcel may not be considered unsuitable solely because of size or location if it can reasonably be put to farm or forest use in conjunction with other land;

(c) The dwelling will be sited on a lot or parcel created after January 1, 1993, as allowed under ORS 215.263 (Land divisions in exclusive farm use zones) (4);

(d) The dwelling will not materially alter the stability of the overall land use pattern of the area; and

(e) The dwelling complies with such other conditions as the governing body or its designee considers necessary.

(4)(a) In the Willamette Valley, a lot or parcel allowed under paragraph (b) of this subsection for a single-family residential dwelling not provided in conjunction with farm use may be established, subject to approval of the governing body or its designee, in any area zoned for exclusive farm use upon a finding that the originating lot or parcel is equal to or larger than the applicable minimum lot or parcel size and:

(A) Is not stocked to the requirements under ORS 527.610 (Short title) to 527.770 (Good faith compliance with best management practices not violation of water quality standards);

(B) Is composed of at least 95 percent Class VI through Class VIII soils; and

(C) Is composed of at least 95 percent soils not capable of producing 50 cubic feet per acre per year of wood fiber.

(b) Any parcel to be created for a dwelling from the originating lot or parcel described in paragraph (a) of this subsection will not be smaller than 20 acres.

(c) The dwelling or activities associated with the dwelling allowed under this subsection will not force a significant change in or significantly increase the cost of accepted farming or forest practices on nearby lands devoted to farm or forest use.

(d) The dwelling allowed under this subsection will not materially alter the stability of the overall land use pattern of the area.

(e) The dwelling allowed under this subsection complies with such other conditions as the governing body or its designee considers necessary.

(5) No final approval of a nonfarm use under this section shall be given unless any additional taxes imposed upon the change in use have been paid.

(6) If a single-family dwelling is established on a lot or parcel as set forth in ORS 215.705 (Dwellings in farm or forest zone) to 215.750 (Alternative forestland dwellings), no additional dwelling may later be sited under subsection (1), (2), (3), (4) or (7) of this section.

(7) In counties in eastern Oregon, as defined in ORS 321.805 (Definitions for ORS 321.805 to 321.855), a single-family residential dwelling not provided in conjunction with farm use may be established, subject to the approval of the county governing body or its designee, in any area zoned for exclusive farm use upon a finding that:

(a) The dwelling or activities associated with the dwelling will not force a significant change in or significantly increase the cost of accepted farming or forest practices on nearby lands devoted to farm or forest use;

(b) The dwelling will be sited on a lot or parcel created after January 1, 1993, as allowed under ORS 215.263 (Land divisions in exclusive farm use zones) (5);

(c) The dwelling will not materially alter the stability of the overall land use pattern of the area; and

(d) The dwelling complies with such other conditions as the governing body or its designee considers necessary. [Formerly subsections (3) to (8) of 215.283 (Uses permitted in exclusive farm use zones in nonmarginal lands counties); 2001 c.704 §4; 2003 c.621 §71; 2015 c.27 §24]

Notes of Decisions

Considera­tion and applica­tion of listed factors may allow parcel to be found generally unsuitable for agricultural purposes notwithstanding that majority of land within parcel is not unsuitable. Hearne v. Baker County, 89 Or App 282, 748 P2d 1016 (1988), Sup Ct review denied

General unsuitability for farm use must be based on entire tract, not only on part on which dwelling would be located. Smith v. Clackamas County, 103 Or App 370, 797 P2d 1058 (1990), aff'd313 Or 519, 836 P2d 716 (1992)

In determining general unsuitability of lot or parcel, "produc­tion" of livestock refers only to livestock opera­tions that bring livestock into existence. Moore v. Coos County, 144 Or App 195, 925 P2d 927 (1996)

Minimum parcel size require­ments of ORS 215.780 (Minimum lot or parcel sizes) are applicable to exclusive farm use lot division made for purpose of allowing nonfarm dwelling. Dorvinen v. Crook County, 153 Or App 391, 957 P2d 180 (1998), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

36 EL 25 (2006)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Effect of constitu­tional pro­vi­sion requiring pay­ments based on govern­ment regula­tions restricting use of prop­erty, (2001) Vol 49, p 284

Chapter 215

Notes of Decisions

Published notice is adequate if prop­erty owners can reasonably ascertain that prop­erty in which they hold interest may be affected. Clackamas County v. Emmert, 14 Or App 493, 513 P2d 532 (1973), Sup Ct review denied

Statutory scheme es­tab­lishing LCDC and granting it authority to es­tab­lish state-wide land use planning goals does not unconstitu­tionally delegate legislative power where both standards (under this chapter) and safeguards ([former] ORS 197.310) exist. Meyer v. Lord, 37 Or App 59, 586 P2d 367 (1978)

Where county had not yet adopted comprehensive plan but had zoned certain por­tions "primarily agricultural," county had not enacted adequate interim measures to protect its agricultural land until exclusive farm use zoning was completed. Columbia County v. LCDC, 44 Or App 749, 606 P2d 1184 (1980)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Fasano v. Bd. of County Commrs., applica­tion to county governing bodies and planning com­mis­sions, (1974) Vol 36, p 960; binding effect on govern­mental agencies of the adop­tion of interim Willamette River Greenway boundaries, (1975) Vol 37, p 894

Law Review Cita­tions

36 EL 25 (2006)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 215—County Planning; Zoning; Housing Codes, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors215.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 215, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano215.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.