Amicus Brief Background
West Linn Corporate Park LLC v. City of West Linn
As a condition of approving development by West Linn Corporate Park, LLC, the City of West Linn, Oregon, required the developer to upgrade certain off-site street and water infrastructure. The developer challenged the condition, claiming it constituted an exaction, or taking, of its property.
After mixed results at the trial court level, both parties appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which heard oral arguments in 2008, then referred three questions of state law to the Oregon Supreme Court before issuing its final opinion.
APA, its Oregon chapter, and the League of Oregon Cities submitted a brief to the Oregon Supreme Court addressing two of the three questions certified by the Ninth Circuit, arguing:
- the developer had not exhausted its administrative remedies, and the case was therefore not ripe for review in the courts;
- a development condition requiring off-site improvements does not constitute an exaction requiring compensation.
In 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court responded to the questions posed by the Ninth Circuit. With respect to the ripeness question, the court partly agreed with the APA brief, deciding that all local, but not state, remedies must be pursued prior to seeking judicial relief.
This decision was rendered moot, however, by the court’s opinion (in accordance with APA's brief) that the development condition imposed by West Linn is not an exaction under Oregon law.
On April 18, 2011, the Ninth Circuit dismissed the developer's state takings claim based on the opinion of the Oregon Supreme Court, and dismissed the developer's analogous federal takings claim, reciting the reasoning of the Oregon Supreme Court and APA's brief that the Nollan and Dolan cases limit exactions claims to dedications of real property.