Columbia Riverkeeper and 1000 Friends of Oregon have filed a legal challenge with the Oregon Lane Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) to Columbia County’s controversial decision to rezone over 830 acres of prime farmland and wetlands for heavy industrial development along the Columbia River.

Port Rezone Debate

Port Westward is a deepwater port with existing dock facilities and direct access to the 43-foot navigation channel in the Columbia River. It is the center of a rezone debate.

This marks the county and Port of Columbia County’s third attempt to rezone the area following successful legal challenges brought by a local farmer, Columbia Riverkeeper, and 1000 Friends of Oregon to stop the rezone.

The Columbia County Board of Commissioners approved the Port of Columbia County’s application to rezone 837 acres at Port Westward from Primary Agriculture to Resource Industrial Planned Development Sept. 22.

Port Westward is a deep-water port with existing dock facilities and direct access to the 43-foot federal navigation channel in the Columbia River. The 837-acre expansion area at Port Westward will address the need, both at the local and state level, for industrial land, according to supporters.

Columbia Riverkeeper and 1000 Friends of Oregon submitted detailed comments to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals in their legal challenge describing how the port’s proposal failed to meet the minimum requirements of Oregon’s land use laws. Read the full legal challenge with this story at thechriefnews.com.

Columbia Riverkeeper and 1000 Friends of Oregon are represented by Crag Law Center, a non-profit environmental law center serving Pacific Northwest communities.

Oregon law allows for appeals to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, which would likely issue a decision in several months.

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