From the KATU 2 Portland website:
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.)