After that ruling, but before the Commissioners could act, Stop the Dump, its allies, and other statewide organizations with an interest in preserving farm land asked the Supreme Court to review the COA decision. They worried that the wording of the COA ruling would put millions of acres of farm land in jeopardy by allowing non-farm uses to impinge on farming activities unless affected farms could show that farming would be significantly reduced statewide.
The Supreme Court has no legal obligation to take every appeal from the COA, so the fact that the Court has agreed to hear this case means that the Court agrees that the issues raised are significant.
Stop the Dump Coalition President Ilsa Perse is encouraged by the news. In a press release issued today, she wrote:
At last, some excellent news on the garbage front. The Oregon Supreme Court has just issued an Order Allowing Review of our appeal of the recent Court of Appeals decision that would have allowed Waste Management to harm local farmers, as long as they paid the farmers for the damage done to their farming practice, and their lives.
We knew that the Appeal Court's and Yamhill County's interpretation of Oregon Land Use law was novel and, we feel, incorrect. It would have serious and detrimental implications for the preservation of Oregon’s agricultural future. If the Court of Appeals decision is allowed to stand, farming in Oregon could be severely impacted by many different non-farm uses that are allowed on exclusive farm use land. The Supreme Court only agrees to hear 10% of the requests for review that they receive, so clearly they see the importance of resolving the issues that we raised in our appeal.
It is impossible to know if, in agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court will decide that the Court of Appeals made the right decision or, we hope, the wrong one. The Court will not be hearing oral arguments until November, and then it could take a year or two or three to issue a decision, But no matter how long it takes for the Supremes to decide, Waste Management's reckless expansion onto 29 additional acres is on hold.
This is VERY GOOD NEWS!