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Meditation Center vs. Basketball Arena


Quiz:

Which of these did the Eugene planning department require a conditional use permit (CUP) for?

The Dharmalaya Meditation Center, straw bale backyard shelter for quiet retreats:

The UO's 12,500-seat basketball arena, at roughly $250 million, the most expensive arena ever built with plans for games, rock concerts and other mass events almost every weekend:

Answer:

The Eugene planning department required a CUP for the meditation center but not for the huge arena. Both decisions were thrown out on appeal by a hearings official. Now the arena requires a permit and the meditation center does not.

Strange.

Did the city of Eugene get bad legal advice on this? The city doesn't have any attorneys on staff. It gets almost all its legal advice from the private law firm Harrang Long Gary Rudnick P.C.

Harrang Long's president is Bill Gary. Gary served with his friend UO President Dave Frohnmayer as his top deputy when Frohnmayer was Oregon attorney general.

In the past , Gary and his firm have denied any conflicts of interest between the private firm's work for the city and private clients.