2017 ORS 376.160¹
Notice to landowners
  • investigation of proposed way
  • report to county governing body

(1) Upon receipt of a petition for a way of necessity filed under ORS 376.155 (Petition to establish way of necessity), a county governing body shall:

(a) Provide for service of the petition on all persons owning land across which the way of necessity could be located; and

(b) Direct the county engineer, county surveyor or other persons appointed by the governing body to investigate the proposed way of necessity and to submit a written report to the county governing body.

(2) The report under subsection (1) of this section shall include:

(a) Possible alternate routes for ways of necessity to the property;

(b) A determination of whether the proposed way of necessity meets the requirements under ORS 376.150 (Definitions for ORS 376.150 to 376.200) to 376.200 (Transfer of jurisdiction over establishment of ways of necessity to circuit court);

(c) The reasonableness of the way of necessity proposed in the petition; and

(d) A recommendation for a specific location and width for a way of necessity.

(3) Upon receipt of the report under subsection (2) of this section, the county governing body shall:

(a) Provide a copy of the report to the petitioner; and

(b) Serve a copy of the petition and report on all persons owning land across which the way of necessity is proposed to be located under the report or the petition.

(4) Service of the petition and report under this section shall be accomplished in the manner provided for service of summons in an action at law. If the report includes a recommendation for a route different than the route proposed in the petition, service on the affected parties shall include a copy of the petition. [1979 c.862 §3]

Notes of Decisions

Way of necessity may not be es­tab­lished if peti­tioner could acquire ease­ment for access to public road through other legal ac­tion. Chambers v. Disney, 65 Or App 684, 672 P2d 711 (1983)

Way of necessity created under these sec­tions must be open to public and, so construed, sec­tions do not violate article I, sec­tion 18 of Oregon Constitu­tion. Chapman v. Perron, 69 Or App 445, 685 P2d 492 (1984)

Where peti­tioner’s land does not abut highway, ORS 376.180 (Conditions for way of necessity) requires peti­tioners to show they lack ease­ment so as to show need for way of necessity. Witten v. Murphy, 71 Or App 511, 692 P2d 715 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Under these sec­tions, if peti­tioners have existing enforceable access to public road, they are not entitled to way of necessity, notwithstanding whether such access is reasonable. Pike v. Wyllie, 100 Or App 120, 785 P2d 764 (1990), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 376—Ways of Necessity; Special Ways; Pedestrian Malls, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors376.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 376, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano376.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
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.