No traction for bypass appeal
Storm, whose aim was to force ODOT to move the southern terminus of Phase I south to Fulquartz Landing, could take his appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals. However, his Portland-area attorney, Andrew Stamp, said he was inclined to accept LUBA’s decision as the final word.
In arguments heard last month, Stamp maintained state and county had originally settled on the Fulquartz site. Thus, he maintained, the county erred in approving goal exceptions allowing ODOT to instead install the southern interchange at Niederberger Road, on the southern outskirts of Dundee.
However, Bonnie Heitsch of the state Department of Justice, representing Yamhill County and ODOT, said the parties never committed to an interchange at Fulquartz Landing, undercutting the basis for the appellate argument.
Heitsch was pleased with the ruling. “We’re satisfied that LUBA upheld land use planning laws and are pleased that ODOT will be able to continue to usher this project in under the Jobs and Transportation Act which was intended to employ Oregonians during this recession,” she said.
Stamp was disappointed, but philosophical. “We knew going in that it’s an uphill battle any time you’re fighting the government,” he said.