Ah, the wonder of all the twists and turns in our appeal of the neighborhood (Spring Lake Estates) proposed lot partitioning. First we win the appeal. We’re up! Then that decision is appealed. And we lose the second remand decision. We’re down! Then we ask the County Commissioners to reconsider the remand approval, and they decline, thereby sustaining the atrocious decision. We’re even further down! Then, after consulting the level of our psychic energy and bank balance, we decide to take another step and appeal to LUBA—the Land Use Board of Appeals, a $375 step.
Though it is customary to be represented by an attorney at LUBA, we figured that, having watched the O.J. Simpson trial almost in its entirety on Court T.V., we could handle our own legal case. So I learned how to prepare a legal-looking document in Word 2002, complete with line numbers and those cute little right parentheses do-jobbers that have to be lined up vertically just so at the beginning of the document. No problem. We file a beautiful appearing appeal with LUBA, and look forward (sort of) to writing up our appeal brief.
Then Laurel reads on the LUBA web site about the possibility of mediation, so we call up the Marion County legal counsel and start talking about a deal, just like real lawyers do. Lo and behold, last Friday we learn that Marion County is willing to stipulate (that word was used a lot in the O.J. trial, but we’re still a little vague about what it means) another remand hearing, either before the County Commissioners or the original hearings officer. Which was just what we had hoped to get out of a LUBA hearing, so…We’re up! (for now)
What this is teaching us, in part, is the value of perseverance—as if we didn’t know that value before. Laurel has never given up on this appeal, and I’ve supported her when she felt like giving up, because we both believe that this is one of those “think globally, act locally” instances where you put your money (literally) where your mouth is. Meaning, talk is just talk, and thought is just thought, until you transform them into action. We might win in the end, or we might lose in the end. But we will feel good at the end just knowing that we’ve persevered to the end.