When a city decides to develop land that is close to a residential area, they are required to notify the affected resident of their proposed plans, and invite them to ask questions and voice concerns in a public forum. This allows the residents to have their voices heard regarding activities that will affect them directly. When this notification is not given, then real estate disputes can arise. An Oregon man has been disputing the development of commercial property close to his house, and now it looks like the dispute is going to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
The man was not notified when the city of Sherwood decided to build a shopping center with Walmart as an anchor store not far from a residential area. The center would be less than 1,000 feet from the man’s home. When he found out about the proposed development, he tried to appeal, but was told the appeal date had passed. The man argued that since he was not properly notified, then an exception should be made, as the rules state. When he didn’t get anywhere with the city, he appealed to the state. The state has said that it is a city issue.
The man petitioned the Oregon Court of Appeals, and they have agreed to hear the case. The crux of the question is whether a state board can be used to circumvent a city ordinance. The man is arguing that is the city does not do as it is supposed to regarding notification of residents, and when the state agency will not hear a case, then residents are penalized due to no fault of their own.
When a city creates rules and ordinances but then does not follow the rules they created, someone should hold them accountable. Residents can attempt to do it, but then the city just keeps doing the same activities as before since they both can make and break the rules. If no one will hold the city accountable, then the residents have a serious issue.
If a city ordinance seems to be unfair and you want to challenge it, speaking with a legal professional with experience in real estate litigation is a wise step.
Source: Oregon Live, “Sherwood Walmart land use appeal headed to Oregon Court of Appeals” Fenit Nirappil, Oct. 24, 2013