Jamie Howsley with Jordan Ramis, on behalf of the HBA, recently filed an amicus brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals in the case Roberts et al v. City of Cannon Beach.The brief highlights the broader implications a recent LUBA decision may have on the development of housing. At issue is the definition of clear and objective standards, as the term and requirement pertain to housing. At the heart of the appeal is the ambiguous language surrounding setbacks for a single-family residence development in Cannon Beach, OR. In addition to undefined terms as part of setback code, there were multiple instances where the code allowed for contradictory definitions or interpretations of the terms. It is the contention of the HBA, based on case law, that terms or housing development requirements that have multiple plausible definitions are not by their nature “clear and objective.” Although the case is outside of the greater Portland metropolitan area, it has statewide implications that if not remedied could put at jeopardy the concept of “clear and objective standards” as envisioned by the legislature with bills passed in 2017 and 2019. The brief was authorized by the Government Affairs Committee of the HBA at its August 12 meeting with Jordan Ramis and Mr. Howsley offering to draft and file the brief pro bono. In recent months, HBA has become aware of multiple local decisions that seem to fail the “clear and objective” test with regards to housing and this case provides an opportunity for the HBA to weigh-in on behalf of its members, the industry, and a community in dire need of more housing choices. HBA staff and the government affairs committee will continue to question local land use and development decisions that do not comply with clear and objective standards requirements and will take action when necessary to protect the ability of its members to provide needed housing. To learn more about HBA's work related to clear and objective standards, or this amicus brief filing, contact Ryan Makinster at firstname.lastname@example.org.