Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cuba lost a role-model

Oregon has lost ground as a model for land use
Way back in 1973, a bunch of Oregonians got together with a common goal: save farmland and stop urban sprawl.

These visionary individuals created Senate Bill 100, the most effective and resilient land-use program in the United States. The program's No. 1 goal was citizen involvement, and thousands of Oregonians helped cities, counties and the state design and implement the land-use rules.

Last fall, it was the people who surrendered.

By a stunningly wide margin, Oregonians embraced Measure 37 and jilted decades of consistent land-use planning.

Oregonians' approval of Measure 37 did more than chop local land-use ordinances into pieces. The measure stunned the nation, stalling efforts elsewhere to rein in sprawl.

Yes, I really felt like I was "surrendering" when I voted yes on Measure 37. I mean, I really wanted government to continue to tell people they couldn't use their land in the way they choose to but the folks down a Oregonians In Action just strong armed me.

The media's suprise at the "stunningly" wide margin just shows the disconnect between the media elites and the regular folks. We don't want big government telling us that we can't build a house on our property, put up a fence, or cut down a tree.

As for the opinion of the rest of the nation, it may have been other media outlets that were "stunned" by the passage of Measure 37 but it certainly wasn't the citizenry who look at Oregon like we are a bunch of hippie throwbacks.

6 comments:

MAX Redline said...

"Surrendered?" How about "got sick and tired of having their rights eroded by environmental overlays and other restrictions"?

Portland slapped an environmental overlay on some property I used to own, 'cause a creek runs through the back yard - way down at the end of the yard.

They proceeded to tell me that I couldn't plant anything but native species within 50' of the creek - and ya know what? Vegetable gardens don't have native species.

Then they told me I'd have to pay $1200 and submit a plan to replace my back deck - and they would then decide whether I could or not.

Voting for measure 37 wasn't MY idea of surrender!

Diesel said...

But guys, you can't tell me that Measure 37 was a great ballot measure either.

Now, if I want to tear down my house, in a neighborhood full of houses and schools, and put a McDonald's franchise here, the city would have to pay me NOT to do it. Who cares what my neighbors think? Who cares about increased traffic and parking and yada yada yada. Who cares! I want my money!

Measure 37 may have been well intended, but it is had a lot of unforseen (or untold) consequences.

MAX Redline said...

Don,

>Now, if I want to tear down my house, in a neighborhood full of houses and schools, and put a McDonald's franchise here, the city would have to pay me NOT to do it. Who cares what my neighbors think? Who cares about increased traffic and parking and yada yada yada. Who cares! I want my money<

Let's put this another way. When I bought my previous house, there was really very little traffic.

Portland bureaucrats decreed that townhouses and other slim buildings should go in, and gave breaks to developers to do just that infilling - even while attempting to deprive me of use of my property via environmental overlays.

They didn't give a rat's heinie about the increase in traffic on the street as a direct result of their infill projects, nor did they concern themselves with the feelings of the neighborhood.

Measure 37 just levels out the playing field a bit.

Daniel said...

I have to agree with Jay about the increase in traffic, that is caused by the "urban density" that is so desired by our state government.

And you house is not zoned commercial, therefore you couldn't build a McDonalds and you wouldn't have a M37 claim. But let's pretend that you could build the restraunt and your neighbors don't want you to, they should buy your house then. Until they own it, it is yours to do what you like.

As for the "unforseen" consequences, can you supply me with an example of a claim that has been filed that is egregious in your opinion.

Diesel said...

Of course I have no examples! If I did, I would be much more convincing :)

The only example I have really paid attention to is just outside of Hood River, where an orchard owner is suing under M37 because he can't subdivide his acreage and put houses on the farmland. The thing is, the guy admits he doesn't want to put houses up. He's just suing for the RIGHT to do so (and for the $$$$, which he claims is in the millions).

Is this "right"? (as opposed to wrong)

Daniel said...

"Of course I have no examples! If I did, I would be much more convincing :)"

I can appreciate the honesty! That's pretty funny.

If the guy who owns the orchard wants to subdivide his land then government shouldn't stand in his way. He may not want the houses himself but the ability to sell parcels that can have house makes the land more valuable. I don't see why he shouldn't be able to do that to get himself some money.