Today the Oregon Supreme Court ruled on the Land Use Board of Appeals for the Columbia River Crossing project. It concluded that petitioners failed “to show that Metro either exceeded its statutory authority or made a decision …that was not supported by substantial evidence.”
The suit was initiated after Metro, in August 2011, approved a Land Use Final Order that gave the green light to the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project. The project, slated to cost upwards of $10 billion*, has been criticized soundly from experts on all sides.
The petitioners argued that Oregon’s 1990’s Land Use Final Order law was created for a specific light-rail project, and not one as far reaching as the Columbia River Crossing.
Chris Girard, Plaid Pantry CEO and sponsor of the Cortright Report, was part of an appeal that was heard by the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). “We appealed to LUBA, and chose not to go to the Supreme Court. The parts that we lost on at LUBA would have been a stretch.”
In October 2011, the Land Use Board of Appeals did validate most of Metro’s decisions, but the board sent one item back to Metro – an urban growth boundary issue that to be resolved at the local level between Metro and TriMet.
“LUBA did agree with one of our claims,” said Chris Girard, “That Metro doesn’t have the authority to approve a bridge out into the river.”
“As it stands right now Metro either has to revise the urban growth boundary or change their plan and get approval for the construction that goes out into the river.”
Click here to read COUV.COM’s follow-up article on the Oregon Supreme Court ruling.
* The well-documented cost to taxpayers, if the CRC stays on budget, is $10 billion. This was established by the Cortright Report (PDF) which used data from an independent review panel hired by the governors of Washington and Oregon. (View the panel’s final report.)
See our continuing coverage of the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project.
Do you have information to share on the CRC? To respond anonymously call 260-816-1426. To allow your comments to be used on COUV.COM call 260-816-1429.