Clatsop County won't be joining liquefied natural gas developer Bradwood Landing in challenging the recent Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals ruling. County leaders are opting out of the appeal by default, according to County Manager Duane Cole.

The deadline for the county to enter the company's appeal to the Oregon Court of?Appeals is 5 p.m. Monday.

"The deadline is going to pass by and we're just not going to take it up," Cole said. "We're not deciding, we're just not going to consider it further."

Cole said in 30 years the county has never participated with an applicant in a legal challenge of land-use issues to the Court of Appeals.

The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners would have had to take action at a special public meeting to enter the court proceeding, but the board will not need to meet on the issue. "The board doesn't have to make a decision to not do something," Cole said.

Bradwood Landing LLC, a subsidiary of NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. of Houston is challenging the April 12 ruling by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals that remanded two issues related to the LNG developer's consolidated application back to the county for further clarification.

The county had the option of joining Bradwood/NorthernStar as a party in the Court of Appeals challenge, or allowing the company to handle the appeal on its own.

Bradwood/NorthernStar proposes to build a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal and pipeline at Bradwood, approximately 25 miles east of Astoria.

The company's consolidated land-use application was approved by the county board of commissioners in March 2008 and appealed by project opponents to LUBA, which rejected most of the appellants arguments but remanded two issues back to the county: The question of whether the development met the definition of small to medium scale, and the definition of "protect" as it relates to fishing areas.

In July 2009 the county board approved new findings to address the remand issues, which were again appealed to LUBA. In April, the state panel remanded the two issues back to the county for the second time. The Oregon Court of Appeals, by siding with NorthernStar, could restore Clatsop County's original land-use approval.

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