The Appeal

The City’s rezoning of the Peterkort property assigned the newly-created SC-S (Station Community-Sunset) zoning to the majority of the Peterkort property. The northwest corner of Barnes Road and Cedar Hills Blvd. was assigned R1 (Urban High Density Residential) and the southwest corner was assigned CC (Corridor Commercial). The City also assigned CC to the existing Peterkort Towne Square (Albertson’s shopping center). Disappointed by loopholes built into the SC-S zoning designation and weak provisions for mixed-use development, a group of three activists appealed the City’s decision to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).

The issue before LUBA was whether the City correctly followed an intergovernmental document with Washington County called the Urban Planning Area Agreement (UPAA) The UPAA says the City must apply the “…plan and zoning designation which most closely approximates the density, use provisions, and standards of the [county] designations.” In a wide-ranging petition, the appellants argued that the City’s SC-HDR (Station Center-High Density Residential) designation was a better match than SC-S for the County’s Transit Oriented districts. The appellants also argued that the City misconstrued the UPAA by applying the R1 and CC zoning designations.

LUBA’s decision in August, 2012 was mixed, and the matter was remanded (sent back) to the City for additional justification of the SC-S designation. City planners made some revisions and sent a zoning amendment to the City Council. An important change was elimination of the SC-S half-acre exemption from the Planned Unit Development (PUD) application process. Left standing, the half-acre exemption could have allowed construction of businesses such as fast food restaurants without appropriate planning controls. The City Council approved the modified zoning amendment in November, 2012.

Still dissatisfied by the City’s selection of the flawed SC-S zoning for the Peterkort property, the three activists appealed to LUBA a second time, with a more narrow focus on SC-S.

LUBA denied the appeal and affirmed the City Council’s decision in May, 2013. This time, the opinion was more definitive. LUBA recognized that the applicable zoning designations of both Washington County and City of Beaverton are complicated. LUBA analyzed opposing arguments for each of the three “prongs” of the UPAA—density, use, and standards. The board members agreed with the City that SC-S is a better match for density, and they agreed with the appellants that SC-HDR is a better match for use. LUBA ruled that standards were a tie.

Without benefit of any state law to weight the importance of each prong, LUBA ruled that the City did not improperly construe the “most closely approximate” criterion. LUBA also ruled that, in any event, the City is entitled to deference on how it interprets its development code in a “gray area” such as this one.


Historical information

An appeal was filed against the Planning Commission’s recommendation and hearing which originally occurred on Feb 7, 2012 at 6:30pm:

The City council heard testimony for impassioned neighbors, community members, the County Commissioner representing this district, representatives and lawyers from Peterkort Properties and members of the Peterkort family as well. All members of the Council, except Council President Commissioner Stanton, voted in favor of upholding the Planning Commission’s recommendation.

Appeal Documents: (these are searchable!)
– Exhibit F Peterkort Appeal (2MB pdf) – this is what the community submitted as the appeal
– Exhibit G Peterkort Appeal (200MB pdf) –  original documents: code changes, orig staff report, etc.
– Exhibit H Peterkort Appeal (33MB pdf) – Planning Commission hearing minutes, Transportation Planning Rule, additional community testimony, etc.

Beaverton’s Peterkort Information Page  Website

The planning commission handled this as one agenda item and only allowed public testimony as if it were one item, since the city technically split this into 3 separate ordinances, 3 different appeals had to be filed at $1411 each =  $4233 just to kick off the appeal process. (Please consider a financial contribution to help save our community!)

The notice of decision was received around Dec 15th (Notice Page 1, Page 2) and provided information about how to appeal. The unfortunate timing of the appeal period directly over the Holiday season, forced concerned citizens to scramble to contact community members still in the area for funding and to file an appeal. The team was able to file a appeal just in time on the Dec 27th deadline.

The appeal provides the public an opportunity to defend the significant public investment in the station (time and $$) and offer suggestions for improving the City’s changed plans which we feel could support a huge office building or Shopping Mall instead of a mixed use residential-oriented “Station Community”. (see also Westside MAX Light Rail Project Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Program“)

Planning for the appeal hearing is underway. Please contact us if you are able to help with a either financial contribution towards the appeal and/or have interest in working on the presentation of the appeal.