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Thread: Oregon's Measure 37 is overturned

  1. #1
    Cyburbian plankton's avatar
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    Oregon's Measure 37 is overturned

    From the KATU 2 Portland website:

    10/14/05
    By CHARLES E. BEGGS
    Associated Press Writer

    A judge on Friday overturned a voter-passed property compensation law as unconstitutional.

    Marion County Circuit Judge Mary James struck down the law as violating five provisions of the state and federal constitutions.

    The law, passed as Measure 37 on the November 2004 ballot, requires that state and local governments either compensate land owners when regulations lower property values or waive the rules.

    James said the statute violates equal protection provisions of the Oregon Constitution and a state constitutional ban on suspending laws.

    She also ruled it breaches the separation of powers between government branches, "intrudes on" legislative authority and violates due process protections under the U.S. Constitution.

    Foes of the law argued that it violates the "equal privileges and immunities" provisions of the state constitution because it gives benefits to people who buy their land before regulations were applied but not to those who purchase property later.

    The judge said the distinction between those groups "is not reasonably related to a legitimate state interest and, therefore, is unconstitutional."

    An appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals and eventually to the Oregon Supreme Court was expected no matter which way the trial court ruled.

    The voters approved Measure 37 after the property rights group Oregonians in Action mounted a campaign that put the proposals on the ballot by initiative petition.

    Voters approved a similar property compensation measure in 2000 as a constitutional amendment. But the state Supreme Court threw it out, ruling that it contained too many changes to be rolled into a single amendment.

    ***

    As a county planner in Oregon, I can tell you first hand that M37 claims have turned our department into one of complete reaction and very little progression. People are filing claims like throwing darts at a wall. I hope this is a positive sign of things to come......

    (Final note to Mods: I reviewed the copyright rules and hope I didn't infringe on any here. I chose to post the whole article and not just a few sentences and a link since the article is pretty brief.)
    Last edited by plankton; 14 Oct 2005 at 7:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I've been intensely interested in that law. Especially given how there has been some grumbling about doing the same here (in Washington state). I would expect that ruling to be appealed - and its unclear at this point how supportive of land use law the new supremes are.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Pardon my ignorance - I only arrived in January, but is this related to the recent dissolution of Portland's long heralded Urban Growth Boudary?
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Pardon my ignorance - I only arrived in January, but is this related to the recent dissolution of Portland's long heralded Urban Growth Boudary?
    Yes it does! Measure 37 has been declared unconsitutional thank God!! All you property rights folks need to head back to Alabama!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by sainttouray
    Yes it does! Measure 37 has been declared unconsitutional thank God!! All you property rights folks need to head back to Alabama!
    Great! Judging by this map:http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start...eas.htm&e=9797
    it would appear that the UGB covers an area roughly about 20 miles east-west, and 15 miles north-south. If the area outside this boundary remains relatively rural, then Portland's area of suburban sprawl has to among the most miniscule for cities its size and bigger. Within the boundary, the city isn't very dense but as population grows it should gradually fill in and at least approach the level of a dense suburb. The UGB keeps exurbia in check.

    Preserving quality farmland in close proximity is crucial to the ability of Portland to feed itself in the coming post-carbon world.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Preserving quality farmland in close proximity is crucial to the ability of Portland to feed itself in the coming post-carbon world.
    I wish more people understood this. Too many people seem to spend their time salivating over which fertile valley gets converted next.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I wish more people understood this. Too many people seem to spend their time salivating over which fertile valley gets converted next.
    This is typical. People want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have all the space of exurban McMansions but also the urban livlieness of city that sprawl ends up killing. In general, the average person wants to have their suburban lifestyle but only for themselves, because that's the only way it can work.

    If Oregon loses it's urban growth boundries, like everywhere else the life in the city center will be drained away. Of course people will say no, that Portland is different, but history says otherwise. The countryside will become a wasteland of Home Depots, Wal-Marts, and suburban office parks. You could also expect people in those areas of want to draw an imaginary line around themselves to make sure their property taxes don't go to help support the city in the core of their metro.

    The Portland lifestyle isn't for everyone. I wish those who don't like it would just move somewhere where sprawl is the government policy so leave Portland alone. Of course, they don't want to because Portland has something most metros do not. They want what's special about Portland but also the cheapness and space of sprawl.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AubieTurtle
    This is typical. People want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have all the space of exurban McMansions but also the urban livlieness of city that sprawl ends up killing. In general, the average person wants to have their suburban lifestyle but only for themselves, because that's the only way it can work....
    This is the tragedy of the commons. Free enterprise is the lifeblood of our economy, but that doesn't mean that government shouldn't play a role in restricting land use. National parks are for the common good, and local farmlands on the fringes of urban areas are too.

    Unfortunately, developers make the kind of bucks that can be used to sway elections. Our current paradigm of an economy based on the premise of neverending, limitless growth, is an unsustainable remnant of our frontier legacy. Reaching adulthood as a species and civilization means recognizing that there are limits to the carrying capacity of the Earth.

    We've evolved our cultural institutions quite successfully in the past. We realized that hereditary monarchies grant too much power to one person. So we developed a system of representation (albeit highly imperfect), and elections to limit the terms of the those in power and hold them accountable to the people. We also developed schools and hospitals for public education and public health.

    If the Ancient Romans could harness the power of water for drinking and sanitation with plumbing, surely we should be able to harness the bounty of the land for local food production through legislation that curbs wasteful, exploitative and runaway sprawl development. The trick is to keep the legislatures from getting sold out to the short-term perspective of greedy developers. But individuals like myself, who take the long-term perspective toward to the sustenance of civilization, have to put their money where their mouths are too. Enthusiasm for the benefits of future technology is great, but it is no excuse for disregarding the extent to which our current consumption of resources exceeds the natural rate of replenishment.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Oregon's measure 37 struck down.

    (this could be a repeat thread, but I didn't see anything on it)

    Last week, a circuit court ruled that Oregons Measure 37 was unconstitutional. The judge stated that "the law is unconstitutional because it grants special privileges and immunities, impairs the legislative body's plenary power, suspends laws, and violates the separation of powers. In addition, Judge James ruled that the law violates substantive and procedural due process guaranteed by the United States Constitution." To read the opinion or for more info check here:
    http://www.friends.org/issues/press/...-10-14-05.html

    (Measure 37 was the voter referendum that required local govt. to compensate property owners who felt they lost some value of their property due to land use regulations.)

  10. #10
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    (this could be a repeat thread, but I didn't see anything on it)
    Moderator note:
    Threads merged.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

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