Columbia County Recognizes Land Use Compliance Specialists

The Board of Commissioners would like to recognize the fine work and accomplishments of the Columbia County Land Use Compliance Specialists. Land Use Compliance is a branch of Land Development Services and is responsible for protecting health and safety by ensuring compliance with county regulations.

The county’s Land Use Compliance Specialists investigate, respond to, and process complaints involving alleged code violations and assist technical staff in enforcing solid waste, land use, and on-site septic ordinances. Some of the types of complaints that the specialists investigate are: solid waste that is a threat to public health or safety, unauthorized land uses or failure to comply with land use conditions of approval, stormwater and erosion control standards, and subsurface sewage disposal systems.

"We also investigate complaints to the DumpStoppers Program to determine who may have dumped the waste. We clean up the site if it is small enough, but if it's a large dumpsite we coordinate with the Community Justice Adult Division to have a work crew clean up the site," said Columbia County Land Use Compliance Specialist David Carlberg. DumpStoppers investigates reports of garbage dumping and abandoned boats, trailers, RVs, and vehicles.

From 2018 until 2020, Land Use Compliance Specialists managed 150 active cases. Last year 61 new land use compliance claims were registered, 111 new DumpStopper reports were received, and 156 cases were resolved.

One of the group’s biggest achievements in 2021 was the utilization of Ordinance No. 2016-6 to establish a procedure for Accelerating the Redemption Period for Waste and Abandonment on a property located in Scappoose that has been in the compliance system as an active case since 2018. The proper application of this ordinance required that the Land Use Compliance team work seamlessly with several county departments including County Counsel, Finance and Taxation, General Services, Public Works, Land Development Services, and the Board of Commissioners Office.

The Land Use Compliance unit can be reached by phone at 503-397-7230, by fax at 503-366-3902, or by emailing To report illegal dumping in our county, call the DumpStoppers hotline at 503-397-7229.

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