A land use decision by the Oregon Court of Appeals could impact farm marketing activities across the state, imposing new permitting requirements and forcing changes to business operations.
The case, Greenfield v. Multnomah County, concerns limits on farm-to-table dinners, corn mazes, picnics and other events at an organic farm on Sauvie Island near Portland. The island is a popular weekend destination for urban families, and the county has long sought to balance business opportunities for local farms with preservation of the rural community. After a neighbor challenged a farm stand permit issued by the county to the organic farm, the case made its way through the courts. The appeals court’s complicated parsing of state farm stand rules, however, could generate additional uncertainty, conflict and state legislative action.