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Home > State > Executive > Landscape Contractors Board > Agency History

Landscape Contractors Board: Agency History

This building in Salem houses the offices of the Landscape Contractors Board. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

This building in Salem houses the offices of the Landscape Contractors Board. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

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Written 1998 (updated 2003)

 

Introduction
The Landscape Contractors Board licenses landscaping businesses and landscape contractors. The Board administers ORS 671.510-671.990. Individual landscape contractors must meet experience and/or educational requirements and pass competency exams. Landscaping businesses must post security bonds, submit evidence of liability insurance and employ a licensed landscape contractor. The board receives and investigates consumer complaints, answers consumer and contractor questions and enforces compliance with the licensing law.

 

History
The 1971 Legislative Assembly created the State "For Hire" Landscape Advisory Committee within the Commerce Department. The five-member Committee's function was to counsel and advise the Department in the administration and enforcement of the "For Hire" Landscapers Law. Committee members were to be appointed by the Commerce Department Director for three year terms. Committee members were to be from all segments of the "for hire" landscape industry and at least two were to be public members.

 

Landscape Contractors were required to be licensed. Applicants were required to pay a fee, pass an examination, and have a supervisor or manager with three years experience or two years experience and one year of training. All funds were to be deposited in the Commerce Administration Account for the exclusive purpose of administering the "For Hire"' Landscapers Law.

 

In 1973, the Legislative Assembly changed the name to the State Landscape Contractors Advisory Committee. This legislation added the requirement for license applicants to file a surety bond or deposit, to pay claims against contractors.

 

The 1975 Legislative Assembly changed the committee to the State Landscape Contractors Advisory Board. Membership was increased to seven. New provisions allowed the department to issue limited or specialty licenses in certain circumstances. The Commerce Department was authorized to levy civil penalties for violations of the law. These penalties were to be recovered by the Attorney General in any court of appropriate jurisdiction.

 

The 1977 Legislative Assembly referred the Landscapers Law and other Department of Commerce statutes to interim legislative committees for sunset review.

 

The 1979 Legislative Assembly continued the Board and Commerce Department. The same legislation added provisions allowing registration in-lieu of licensing for contractors grossing less than $5,000 per year. It also established reciprocal licensing of landscapers from other states, territories or countries. The Board's final determinations of claims were given the same effect as final determination of a court. Civil penalties on claims were limited to the amount of the contractor's surety bond or deposit. The Department was directed to adopt rules for minimum standards for written contracts and billings of landscape contractors. Landscape businesses were added as types of licensees by the 1983 Legislative Assembly.

 

The 1987 Legislative Assembly removed the word "advisory" and renamed the Board as the State Landscape Contractors Board. The Commerce Department was abolished and the Board was continued as an independent board. Board members were to be appointed by the Chairman of the newly formed Building, Housing and Real Estate Council. Concurrent legislation added provisions for the Board to investigate claims against landscapers before initiating hearings proceedings. The same legislative session saw new provisions for allowing landscape contractors to install irrigation backflow prevention devices and outlined licensing requirements. In addition, the Board's programs were assigned to the Builders Board for administration.

 

The 1989 Legislative Assembly removed the limits on civil penalties against contractors to the amount of their surety bond or deposit. That legislative session also amended ORS 701 to clarify the responsibilities of landscape contractors to comply with city and county business license requirements.

 

In 1991 The Legislative Assembly added provisions for the board to resolve claims against contractors through binding arbitration. The Board was given authority to investigate any person or business to determine compliance with the statute. The Board was given permission to use, with reimbursement, city or county inspectors. Inspectors were given authority to give notice of noncompliance and to order work stopped.

 

The 1993 Legislative Assembly abolished the Building, Housing and Real Estate Council and transferred board member appointing authority to the Governor.

 

In 1995, the Legislative Assembly amended the statute to clarify types of independent contractors such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies.

 

Current Organization
The Landscape Contractors Board operates as a "semi-independent state agency". The board became semi-independent on July 1, 2002 subsequent to legislation passed in the 2001 legislative session.

 

The agency Administrator provides oversight and policy direction with guidance of the Landscape Contractors Board.

 

The Registration /Licensing Section licenses Individual Landscape Contractors and landscaping businesses. Staff evaluate and process initial and renewal applications, surety bonds, liability insurance, education, and receive fees. They also proctor computer formated exams or send written exams to DMV offices to be administered.

 

The Education /Information Section works with training vendors to ensure that approved courses are offered to contractors to satisfy the education requirements. The purpose of the education program is to promote contractor competence, promote proper business practices and to help the consumer make wise choices in their selection process.

 

The Registration Enforcement Section investigates licensed and non-licensed contractors for common violations of the law. The Section assesses civil penalties and or license suspensions against contractors found in violation.

 

The Claims Section investigates and resolves claims against landscape businesses. Hearings are held by agency Administrative Law Judges in lieu of court proceedings in most cases. The Section also provides arbitration in place of hearings in some cases.

 

Bibliography
Legislatively Adopted Budget, Landscape Contractors Board, 1997-99.

Qregon Blue Book. Secretary of State. 1997-1998.

Oregon Laws, 1971-1997. (O.L. 1971 c 764; O.L. 1973 c 832; O.L. 1975 c 757; O.L. 1977 c 803, c 842, c 873; O.L. 1979 c 107, c 840; O.L. 1983 c 452; O.L. 1987 c 414, c 460, c 461, c 561; O.L. 1989 c 153, c 450, c 944, c 1064; O.L. 1991 c 533; O.L. 1993 c 744; O.L. 1995 c 645;

O.L. 1997 c 327, c 337, c 398, c 785).

Oregon Revised Statutes. 1997.

 

Chronology
1971 The State "For Hire" Landscape Advisory Committee was created within the

Commerce Department to counsel and advise the Department in the administration

and enforcement of the "For Hire" Landscapers Law. Committee members were to

be appointed by the Commerce Department Director.

 

1973 The name was changed to the State Landscape Contractors Advisory Committee.

 

1975 The name was changed to the State Landscape Contractors Advisory Board, and membership was increased to seven.

 

1979 The Legislative Assembly continued the Board and the Commerce Department after sunset review.

 

1987 The word "advisory" was removed and the Board was renamed as the State Landscape Contractors Board. The Commerce Department was abolished and the Board was continued as an independent board. Board members were to be appointed by the Chairman of the newly formed Building, Housing and Real Estate Council. Responsibility for administering the programs of the Landscape Contractors Board was assigned to the Construction Contractors Board.

 

1991 Statutory provisions were added for the board to resolve claims against contractors through binding arbitration. The Board was given authority to investigate any person or business to determine compliance with the statute.

 

1993 The Building, Housing and Real Estate Council was abolished, Board member appointing authority was transferred to the Governor.

 

2002 The board became semi-independent on July 1, 2002 subsequent to legislation passed in the 2001 legislative session.