Measure 37 Not the Answer to Land Use Issues

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), January 25, 2005 | Go to article overview

Measure 37 Not the Answer to Land Use Issues


Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Bob Stacey For The Register-Guard

Oregonians often cannot imagine living anywhere else. Things are truly different here: We pioneer new ideas, have a deep sense of stewardship and actively plan for growth in our communities. Our quality of life is superb, and we are rightfully protective of it.

Thirty years ago, 10,000 Oregonians took part in public meetings and hearings to create our statewide planning goals. Those goals - the first of which is citizen involvement - create the framework for our community land use planning that has served us quite well.

One only need to travel elsewhere in the country, such as to the rampantly sprawling and congestion-choked Seattle area, to be reminded that our land use laws are integral to our quality of life. Oregonians are aware of the benefits of our community planning efforts - and Oregonians consistently voice their support for these laws when asked.

In the Nov. 2 election, Oregonians also voiced support for the fair application of regulations, hence the passage of Measure 37. Unfortunately, despite its ballot title, the measure does not make our land use rules more fair. Instead, Measure 37 undermines our land use protections, threatens our quality of life and actually creates inequity and unfairness.

Measure 37 lets privileged property owners turn back the clock to demand payment or immunity from the zoning safeguards on which neighbors and the rest of us depend. Nobody else can join that select class of property owners; they alone hold special rights to profit-making guaranteed by taxpayers.

That is just plain wrong. In fact, it violates the clause of Section 1, Article 20, of the Oregon Constitution: ``No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.''

Measure 37 is so poorly crafted, it violates multiple other constitutional protections, including those regarding separation of powers, sovereign immunity, suspension of laws, compensation of religious institutions, due process and freedom of speech. …

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Measure 37 Not the Answer to Land Use Issues
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