Fix Measure 37

By Jim Gilbert of Molalla, Oregon. Jim was the Democratic candidate in HD 18 -- which was won by Mac Sumner, who promptly resigned. Jim is a farmer and owns and manages Northwoods Nursery and One Green World.

I was the Democratic candidate in House District 18. One of the reasons I ran for office was to help protect farmland and fix Measure 37.

I probably don't need to tell you of the danger Measure 37 claims pose to our farm and forest land, our water supplies, our beaches and scenic vistas, and our quality of life. As a life-long Oregonian I cannot just sit by and see the destruction of so much of what we value about our State.

While our land use laws need to be fine-tuned to repair what doesn't make sense, Measure 37 is like cracking an egg with a sledgehammer. As a farmer, I watch with dismay as claims proliferate throughout the valley, including one across the street from my nursery.

Measure 37 was declared constitutional because the Legislature can change it. I have decided to circulate a petition to the Governor and Legislative leaders, encouraging them to suspend Measure 37 and take the necessary steps to fix it and make it fair to all Oregonians, to protect what makes Oregon such a great place to live and work.

The petition can be signed, downloaded or forwarded at our website Fix37.org.

Help me spread the word. We need to act soon.

Comments

  • Geoff (unverified)
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    You never say what's wrong with Measure 37, only what you think it's going to do.

  • THartill (unverified)
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    Re: What is wrong with 37....

    And it's the same reason with Oregon Land Use in general, they try to draw up laws at a State Level. Sort of a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Every County, City and town are completely different.

    The best way to fix this mess is to let people choose what kind of land-use laws they want at a local level. Maybe even have some minimum requirements that everyone must follow, but the main land-use decisions must be made at a local level.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Jim Gilbert of Molalla, Oregon. Jim is a farmer and owns and manages Northwoods Nursery and One Green World. I was the Democratic candidate in House District 18. One of the reasons I ran for office was to help protect farmland and fix Measure 37. JK: Lets be clear: 1) you grow plant used for decorations, not food. 2) In order to protect your lifestyle, you want to degrade the quality of life of the city dwellers by forcing high density, congestion and pollution down their throats.

    Jim Gilbert of Molalla, Oregon. I probably don't need to tell you of the danger Measure 37 claims pose to our farm and forest land, JK: Since farmland is being abandoned around the country and in Oregon, and we are paying farmers to NOT GROW food, why we should we prevent its use in providing people with affordable homes. Homes in Portland already cost around twice what the should because of the artificial shortage of land.

    Jim Gilbert of Molalla, Oregon. our water supplies, JK: Should remain protected under M37. M37 does NOT apply to: (B) Restricting or prohibiting activities for the protection of public health and safety, such as fire and building codes, health and sanitation regulations, solid or hazardous waste regulations, and pollution control regulations;

    Jim Gilbert of Molalla, Oregon. our beaches JK: Give me a break. Beaches have been owned by the state for many years.

    Jim Gilbert of Molalla, Oregon. and our quality of life. JK: Please tell us why preserving your quality of life is more important than preserving quality of life in the cities where most people live?

    M37 is already relieving the pressure to build five story apartment buildings in every Portland neighborhood.

    Had M37 been in place a few years earlier, Portland would have saved over ½ BILLION dollars by being forced to allow the landowners of the North Macadam area to developed their land with their plan and WITHOUT CITY MONEY. Instead Portland is putting at least ½ billion on a grandiose scheme to make the planner’s dream of an ideal neighborhood, paid for be the rest of the city (and state?). M37 would have stopped this waste and will stop such waste in the future by taking power away for the state and giving it back to the people.

    Jim Gilbert of Molalla, Oregon. As a life-long Oregonian I cannot just sit by and see the destruction of so much of what we value about our State. JK: As a life-long Oregonian I cannot just sit by and see the destruction of our cities by high density, pollution and congestion. All of which M37 can help control or actually turn around.

    Why protect a few unproductive farms that spread polluting chemicals all over the landscape at the expense of the quality of life of 95% of Oregonians who are seeing their living conditions steadily deteriorate as our neighborhoods fill up with unwanted giant apartments, more traffic congestion and pollution.?

    That is the reality of Oregon’s land use system: To protect nurseries as the quality of life in the cities deteriorates. The ultimate NIMBY.

    If you like paying double what you should be paying for housing, look forward to more apartments farms and skinny houses in YOUR neighborhood and even more traffic congestion and pollution, then sign his petition.

    Thanks JK

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    JK:

    Lots to respond to, I'll just pick one point for now:

    2) In order to protect your lifestyle, you want to degrade the quality of life of the city dwellers by forcing high density, congestion and pollution down their throats.

    This is not an urban vs. rural issue. People all over the state have good reason to oppose Measure 37. The Envision Oregon conference last month gave me an opportunity to talk with numerous Bend area residents, all of whom shared my opposition to 37.

    Here's a quote from the Washington Post, illustrating clearly why some fruit growers in Hood River County oppose the effects of Measure 37:

      ...Benton wants to convert 210 acres of his family orchard into housing. The resale value of his orchard, if it continues to be zoned exclusively as farmland, would be about $8,000 an acre. But if it were sold for housing, Benton said, it would fetch $284,000 an acre. Benton and his family have filed a Measure 37 claim demanding that they be paid $57 million for their land or else be allowed to build as many as 800 houses. State and county officials say that they have no money to pay and that building appears to be the only option under the law. The Oregon legislature, Benton told the hearing, should "quit trying to be social engineers and let the market forces and the good people in this state realize their potential." His testimony appalled many of his neighbors, who are also longtime fruit growers in the gorge. They testified that Benton's plan to inject suburbia into orchard country could push the local fruit-growing economy into irreversible decline. They also said that development unleashed by Measure 37 would desecrate scenery that makes the gorge one of the major tourist destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Tourists, they said, do not come to the gorge to look at subdivisions. During a break in the hearing, Benton was asked about the fury that his plan has unleashed among his neighbors. "Life is not equal," he said. "There is a law that got passed, and there is going to be a good amount of whining going on."

    So, would you say that this windfall for an individual, against the wishes of his neighbors and community, is where our public policy should lead us? Certainly, new housing developments will be necessary, to accommodate the new residents that will be coming to Oregon. But why should should we let a privileged class of developers profit from that, with no public input on where the developments go or what they are like, rather than planning for it collectively via government and community organizations?

    That's what Measure 37 does - it allows individuals to bypass land use changes that could otherwise engage various interested parties.

  • ws (unverified)
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    Oregon must have a co-ordinated effort to build and sustain a certain generally recognized and supported quality of living throughout the entire state, not one just centered around individual localities. Planning provides the mechanism for accomplishing this co-ordinated effort.

    Measure 37 is the response to one aspect of this planning process; the attempt to preserve the hoped for increase in valuation of property that property buyers have traditionally been presented with as one of the incentives made to interest them in buying property.

    Most indications are that Oregonians want a quality of living that offers more than simply a place to hang their hat. They want a high calibre of living that exemplifies the best this state has to offer for everyone in it and everyone who chances to visit; rich forests, mountains and streams, wildlife, and well organized cities and towns that are beautiful places to live.

    Oregonians have actually enjoyed this kind of life in this state for some time now. Towards proceeding further in this direction, a stronger case must be made for sustaining those things that make up the quality of life that we enjoy as Oregonians.

    Towards that end, de-emphasizing the speculative gains to be made from the buy and sell of property that stand to disregard and compromise Oregonians preffered quality of life would seem to be helpful.

    How to do it? Good question. Buying and selling of property is important to Oregon's economy, but repeatedly, we see examples where many owners of Oregon property don't hesitate at all to avail their property to the highest paying buyer regardless of what the property will by transformed into. The fundamental concept underlying Measure 37 has not helped to reverse that tendency. It's made the situation worse, an ominous prospect as the pressure from a rapidly growing population becomes ever greater.

  • Thepriceofmeasure37 (unverified)
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    What it comes down to is a money grab. Suddenly everyone who decides their land is unfairly zoned can file a Measure 37 claim. I mean why wouldn't they? Especially when you can turn around and sell your land at a huge profit. I'm not talking one or two times the price, but much more then that.

    My mom has said the hills around Medford have suddenly become developed (with houses) over the last few years because the city didn't want to run the risk of losing Measure 37 claims.

    I guess we have to make space for all those retirees that are moving up from California. We all know the majority of these people are the same ones that vote no all the way down the ballot on tax measures.

  • O. Waltz (unverified)
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    During thirty years of land use planning in Oregon, we all played by the same rules and we all sacrificed and shared the costs for the benefit of all Oregonians now and into the future. We all benefited by conserving and protecting the green farms and forests and open range that have defined our identity as Oregonians since the first pioneers rolled onto this land over 150 years ago. This vision defined Oregon and made our state a national and international model of civic responsibility. This vision made us distinctly different from our "gold-digging" neighbor to the south. This spirit defined our pride as Oregonians. This shared vision kept our state a great place to live and raise our families. For those of us who believed that they burdened too much of the cost of this vision, I believe it's long past time to begin a real dialogue in order to reach an understanding of what is "unfair" and how we, as a society, want to make it right. But for those of us who have decided to put their financial self-interests ahead of all other Oregonians now and into the future by deciding to cash in on our society's legacy, I, and thousands of other Oregonians cry "foul" and "shame"! To those of you who tell me "what's the big deal?", I say it's like a few of us have suddenly decided to manipulate the rules and sell the family jewels for their own personal enrichment without asking the rest of the family, including the children and grandchildren, how they feel about it. That's why I signed the petition at www.fix37.org. Simply stated, Measure 37 sucks.

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    Jim,

    I'm curious whether your petition is coordinated with or endorsed by any of the efforts currently underway - most specifically, Big Look" task force established by Senate Bill 82.

    The Governor has already announced his intention to act on Measure 37 reform this legislative cycle. Are we basically just supporting him in that?

    None of this is intended as a criticism of your petition - I'd just like to see it placed in the context of other stuff that's going on.

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    er, that last post lost some text. Should have said:

    ...most specifically, 1000 Friends of Oregon. There's also the Big Look task force...

  • Jim Gilbert (unverified)
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    Pete, I decided to circulate this petition because I thought legislators needed to know that many Oregonians are unhappy with what Measure 37 has become. Since it was passed by the voters by a large margin, legislators need our support to be willing to tackle this issue. I talked with 1000 Friends about it and have their support.
    In 2004 I was running for office and didn't have much time to campaign against what I saw was a poorly written and dangerous initiative. What I saw then was that there was no significant grass roots campaign against M-37. Now that many of my farmer friends see what it is really doing, they are against it. The petition is one way to demonstrate our opposition to this dangerous measure. Regarding the Governor, he can't fix Measure 37 by himself. Hearings and a bill to fix it must come from the Legislature, which he can then sign. Of course, his leadership is important and that is why the petition is directed to him as well as to the Legislative leaders. By the way, our nursery specializes in edible fruiting plants - if anyone wants to see what we grow at our nursery, our website is www.onegreenworld.com. We employ 30-50+ employees, including city folks who make the reverse commute from places like Portland and Oregon City. Like other businesses, we benefit from being close to a major urban area where we have access to transportation, trained labor, suppliers and customers. Nurseries and farms, unlike other businesses, also require fertile soils and ample water. Oregon's land use laws have protected us from urban encroachment and conflicts, they have kept congestion from our roads, allowing us to move our plants to markets near and far, and have kept the price of farmland, essential to Oregon agriculture, at affordable levels. For those of you who dismiss the importance of this, you should know that agriculture contributes over 8% to Oregon's total economy and employs over 8% of all Oregonians. Also, the Oregon nursery industry alone is approaching a billion dollars in gross sales and is the leading agricultural sector in our state. Over three-fourths of Oregon's nursery stock is shipped out of state resulting in a significant trade surplus for Oregon's economy.

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    Jim Karlock wrote, Lets be clear: 1) you grow plant used for decorations, not food.

    Jim Gilbert wrote, By the way, our nursery specializes in edible fruiting plants

    SNAP!

    Methinks the K-version of Jim owes the G-version of G a bit of an apology...

  • Mitch Rohse (unverified)
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    I propose two modifications to Measure 37. First, let us define compensable losses in a more realistic way. The measure currently requires compensation (in the form either of money or a waiver to regulations)even for landowners whose property values have increased many times over.

    For example, suppose one buys farm land in 1976, and its value increases far beyond the price paid 30 years ago. The value also increases far beyond any amounts the landowner invested and beyond inflation, leaving the owner with a windfall of, say, $1 million in appreciation. There has been no loss here. Rather, there has been a significant gain -- a gain not attributable to anything done by the owner. And yet, Measure 37 still allows such an owner to file a claim. It enables many landowners to seek compensation not for a real loss but for getting a smaller windfall than they hoped for. In my farmland example, the landowner who experienced a million-dollar windfall increase in land value can file a claim for compensation because he didn't get the $2 million he might be able to make by subdividing the farmland into one-acre lots.

    The solution to this problem? Exclude all properties that have experienced windfall gains in value from eligibility under Measure 37. This would eliminate many, perhaps most, claims, and repair a major policy problem in what is currently little more than a publicly subsidized system for maximizing profits from land speculation.

    My second solution is equally simple: it's called "self assessment." If a landowner submits a Measure 37 claim alleging that her property would be worth many times more than it is now under current land use regulations, and if those regulations then are waived, the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation would immediately become the amount alleged by the landowner. This would have the salutary effect of reducing the many exaggerated claims that currently are being filed. Measure 37's provisions now encourage claimants to file pie-in-the-sky estimates of what their land might be worth in the absence of land-use regulations. Self assessment would bring a badly needed dose of reality to this open-ended claims process.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
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    For all intents and purposes, Measure 37 will probably be dead by the end of this week thanks to judicial action. Cross your fingers.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Thank you, Mr. Gilbert. Measure 37, as evidenced by the recent claims flooding local government officies, is not only a plague on the state's rural areas:

    I've compiled a useful compendium of the Measure 37 outrages promoted within the urban growth boundary: http://www.urbanplanningoverlord.blogspot.com/

    And, JK, look at my most recent post, "The Next 100 Million." It turns out that your suburban wet dream for us all isn't even what our future population will want or need anyway.

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)
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    Circulating a petition to the Legislature and Governor to change M37?

    And what would that prove?

    That the 39% who voted "no" on M37 really, really meant it?

    Maybe you can hold a press conference on Ted Hallock's gravesite to hype the impotent plebescite for all you're worth.

    If you are going to circulate a petition to change M37 you might as well make it a MEANINGFUL petition and put your proposed changes before the voters (you know, the people who passed M37 to begin with).

    For someone who is getting quite a bit of bandwidth about the voters prevented from getting a real choice in his district, it seems awful hypocritical to propose leaving the voters out of the loop for this decision.

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    Jim, thanks for clearing that up.

    You said "there was no significant grass roots campaign against M-37." Sec. of State says there was over $2.5 million spent by the "No on 37 - Take a Closer Look Committee."

    Surely that's significant - so in what way was it not "grass roots" enough? Did it fail to accurately explain to the farmers in your neck of the woods, what the effects of Measure 37 would be? I'm a Portland resident, and don't know much about rural sentiments toward M37, beyond articles like the one I quoted above. So I appreciate your blog and your willingness to share the rural perspective.

    Beyond that, is there a groundswell of people (maybe farmers) who originally supported M37, but oppose it now that they've seen the impacts it will have? I think all of us need to hear more from them - not just the Gov and legislators. At this point, I'm more interested in hearing from people who have switched from "pro" to "con" than people like me who have opposed it all along.

    Here's hoping that someone of that description will write a blog, or form a PAC, or start a petition and make waves of their own!

  • O. Waltz (unverified)
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    With all due respect to the good folks at 1000 Friends, what the fuck were they thinking when they came up with "Take a Closer Look" as their campaign slogan? What emotional button was that supposed to push in the public's psyche? Take a closer look at what, our bellybuttons?

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
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    No doubt, 1000 Friends TOTALLY failed with their opposition, not least in hiring obnoxious Patricia McCaig.

    "Take a closer look" and the the fact that the measure is "arbitrary, misleading, and unfair" tempts us to think we are talking about, what, some littering ordinance, rather than something that rewrites all land-use planning. The commercials focused on a HAPPY farming family, rather than the threat of next-door sprawl.

    A total, total failure. And, yes, they should be blamed.

    Let's hope they've learned from I-933 and the other campaigns.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    What problem are we trying to solve by changing M37?

    The only major opponents of M37 were a rich winery owner who, presumable, didn't want the city riff-raff moving into his private reserve and a gaggle of out of state special interest grouops.

    Thanks JK

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    JK,

    Are you being intentionally obtuse? The problems with Measure 37 have been extensively covered by the news media (and I don't recall ever seeing a story about a winery.) There was a big flurry of stories around December 4, when lots of M37 claims came in, looking nothing like the scenario of poor 92-year-old Dorothy English, who starred prominently in the 1994 pro-37 radio ads. So if you've had your head stuck in the sand, go do some searches at the Oregonian, Willamette Week, Portland Tribune, or any other news outlet for stories of communities that have been broadsided by Measure 37 claims that they didn't anticipate, and that will negatively impact those communities. The biggest beneficiaries? Not family farms or individuals like Mrs. English, but out-of-state timber companies and developers. But don't take my word for it, or allow me to cherry pick stories...go find the stories that have come out in the last two months. There is a massive gap in your education on this issue that needs filling.

    Apart from the practical effects, let me list the myriad philosophical problems associated with Measure 37. Below is a list of problems lifted from wikipedia.org. (Full disclosure, in case anyone thinks it necessary: I wrote some pieces of this.) If you click on the link to Wikipedia, you will find citations for every item save 3. Go ahead and ignore those 3 if you like...there are still numerous objections that are well-established.

    Opposition to Measure 37 The following are major arguments advanced against Measure 37:

    • Given that a large portion of a property's value is created by legislation (e.g. laws providing for public roads, sewers, electrical lines, parks, etc), it is unreasonable to require the government to compensate property owners for any additional legislation which might restrict property use in the name of the public good [6]
    • Environmental impact. Since the government will rarely be able to fund the measure, many property owners, especially major developers, will be able to ignore environmental legislation enacted to protect the public good. This has already led to significant blows to state efforts to protect endangered species[7]. In fact, to date existing land use restrictions have been waived in every claim filed under Measure 37.
    • Questionable legality. Rulings by The Supreme Court have deferred to the State and local legislative authorities in determining what constitutes a legitimate exercise of protection of the public interest, as in the 5-4 "Kelo Decision" which allowed takings of private property when a significant public good could be demonstrated. On this ground, existing environmental legislation, even if a 'taking' under the fifth amendment, ought to be allowed as a reasonable expression of the public good.[citation needed]
    • As more claims are being filed, many voters are feeling the impact of unregulated development[8] and public support for the Measure has waned [9].
    • The legislation imposes a large burden on the taxpayers, because there is no provision for funding any payoffs for claims under Measure 37 within the Measure's text. Therefore, all funds must be taken from the general budget of the municipality, which includes funding for schools, roads, health clinics, etc. In order to maintain the existing levels of protection for their communities, taxpayers would have to fund billions of dollars in compensation to landowners.[citation needed]
    • The legislation is incomplete, in that it fails to dictate a method for determining property value when a claim is filed or evaluated.[10]
    • The legislation is deceptive, in that it coerces governments into altering land use laws without debating them on their merits.[10]
    • The campaign for the ballot measure was deceptive, claiming that the law would apply mainly to private property owners (like spokeswoman Dorothy English), when in fact the majority of claims have come from large-scale developers. One of the earliest large claims was brought by a timber company from another state.[11]
    • The legislation is arbitrary, in that it creates unjustified exceptions for certain kinds of businesses such as pornography and nude dancing, which are denied redress via the measure, while other sorts of developers are granted major protections.[citation needed]
    • The legislation is unfair, in that degree of compensation is largely determined by the date the property was acquired. Owners are still subject to regulations enacted before the date at which they acquired the property, such that zoning laws are not enforced equally for all Oregonians simply because of the date of purchase of the property.[citation needed]
  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Pete Forsyth: Are you being intentionally obtuse? The problems with Measure 37 have been extensively covered by the news media (and I don't recall ever seeing a story about a winery.) JK: You should have looked at the C&E reports - that is where you find out who is really footing the bills for the campaign. The biggest single opponent of M37 was a winery owner in Oregon. Presumably he has his little place in the country and doesn’t want anyone else sharing his exclusive neighborhood. The next biggest contributor group (or 3rd) was a group of OUT OF STATE environmental groups. It was as if they were protecting their little Oregon experiment.

    Pete Forsyth: So if you've had your head stuck in the sand, go do some searches at the Oregonian, Willamette Week, Portland Tribune, or any other news outlet for stories of communities that have been broadsided by Measure 37 claims that they didn't anticipate, and that will negatively impact those communities. JK: I mainly remember a friend of a friend buying an investment property and getting screwed by the city changing the zoning. M37 made it right for him.

    Pete Forsyth: The biggest beneficiaries? Not family farms or individuals like Mrs. English, but out-of-state timber companies and developers. JK: Oh, I see - it is OK to screw out of state people.

    Pete Forsyth: There is a massive gap in your education on this issue that needs filling. JK: No, the massive gap is between LAND THIEVES and the rest of us.

    Pete Forsyth: * Given that a large portion of a property's value is created by legislation (e.g. laws providing for public roads, sewers, electrical lines, parks, etc), it is unreasonable to require the government to compensate property owners for any additional legislation which might restrict property use in the name of the public good [6] JK:Those laws help everyone, but your land thievery via regulation only affects few who are expected to pay the price for the benefit of all. If the loss of value affected all equally, that would be different.

    Pete Forsyth: * Environmental impact. Since the government will rarely be able to fund the measure, many property owners, especially major developers, will be able to ignore environmental legislation enacted to protect the public good. JK: Health & safety are exempted from M37. Bullshit planner’s utopian schemes are not - and we are all better off for it.

    Pete Forsyth: In fact, to date existing land use restrictions have been waived in every claim filed under Measure 37. JK: Wrong. There is a massive gap in your education on this issue that needs filling: the city of Portland has refused a few on health & safety grounds.

    Pete Forsyth: * Questionable legality. Rulings by The Supreme Court have deferred to the State and local legislative authorities in determining what constitutes a legitimate exercise of protection of the public interest, as in the 5-4 "Kelo Decision" which allowed takings of private property when a significant public good could be demonstrated. On this ground, existing environmental legislation, even if a 'taking' under the fifth amendment, ought to be allowed as a reasonable expression of the public good.[citation needed] JK: Let me guess: you also think it is OK for the government to take YOUR house and give it to Wall Mart?

    Pete Forsyth: * As more claims are being filed, many voters are feeling the impact of unregulated development[8] and public support for the Measure has waned [9]. JK: Only in your dreams and loaded surveys. Regulated development has given us $100 million tax money to the millionaires in the Pearl and will give us $1/2 BILLION in tax money going to the condo farm being build in the North Macadam.

    Pete Forsyth: * The legislation imposes a large burden on the taxpayers, because there is no provision for funding any payoffs for claims under Measure 37 within the Measure's text. JK: There is no burden what so ever. The planners just have to quit their bullshit thievery of people’s rights unless they have a dam good reason like protecting genuine public interest such as health and safety.

    Pete Forsyth: * The legislation is incomplete, in that it fails to dictate a method for determining property value when a claim is filed or evaluated.[10] JK: That is a bullshit argument. Why should it specify every detail?

    Pete Forsyth: * The legislation is deceptive, in that it coerces governments into altering land use laws without debating them on their merits.[10] JK: Those laws were never debated - they were just imposed from above.

    Pete Forsyth: * The campaign for the ballot measure was deceptive, claiming that the law would apply mainly to private property owners (like spokeswoman Dorothy English), when in fact the majority of claims have come from large-scale developers. One of the earliest large claims was brought by a timber company from another state.[11] JK: If people are being screwed, it needs to be fixed.

    Pete Forsyth: * The legislation is arbitrary, in that it creates unjustified exceptions for certain kinds of businesses such as pornography and nude dancing, which are denied redress via the measure, while other sorts of developers are granted major protections.[citation needed] JK: It got past the court.

    Pete Forsyth: * The legislation is unfair, in that degree of compensation is largely determined by the date the property was acquired. Owners are still subject to regulations enacted before the date at which they acquired the property, such that zoning laws are not enforced equally for all Oregonians simply because of the date of purchase of the property.[citation needed] JK: So is changing the zoning on someone’s property to make it worthless.

    As an aside: M37 would have saved Portland over $½ BILLION had it been in place a few years earlier: The city would not let the owners of North Macadam develop their property in a financially responsible manner, and instead is paying developers around $1/2 Billion to get the high density that the city wants. Is that what you want repeated time after time - cities wasting Billions on development schemes?

    I hope you realize that almost ½ of the cost of homes in Portland is now because of the artificial shortage of land and that M37 will help solve that problem.

    You are probably paying over $200 / month because of the artificially high cost of housing due to the UGB. Hope you like it.

    Every house built “out there” is one less skinny house that will pollute my Portland neighborhood. Every development “out there” is one less condo farm down my block.

    Thanks JK

  • Give (unverified)
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    Can we all agree that after this last post that we should all donate to the Don't Feed the Trolls Fund when JK writes in and refrain from further "debate"?

  • Jon (unverified)
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    ...Benton wants to convert 210 acres of his family orchard into housing. The resale value of his orchard, if it continues to be zoned exclusively as farmland, would be about $8,000 an acre. But if it were sold for housing, Benton said, it would fetch $284,000 an acre

    Why is that? Hasn't zoning caused that big difference in the first place? An acre of dirt is an acre of dirt, right?

    Below is a list of problems lifted from wikipedia.org. (Full disclosure, in case anyone thinks it necessary: I wrote some pieces of this.)

    More proof that Wikipedia is just a glorified "op-ed" page.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Can we all agree that after this last post that we should all donate to the Don't Feed the Trolls Fund when JK writes in and refrain from further "debate"?

    Ah! Another believer in fair and open discussion the progressive way.

  • (Show?)

    O. Waltz wrote:

    "During thirty years of land use planning in Oregon, we all played by the same rules and we all sacrificed and shared the costs for the benefit of all Oregonians now and into the future. We all benefited by conserving and protecting the green farms and forests and open range that have defined our identity as Oregonians since the first pioneers rolled onto this land over 150 years ago."

    I agree that we all benefit from land use planning, but we don't all share its costs. We should. Under the system in place before Measure 37, most of the sacrifices were borne by a small number of land owners. Measure 37 was addressed to that problem, albeit in a ham-handed fashion. When the legislature fixes it, two considerations should be kept in mind. One is that compensation for regulatory takings ought to be paid only where the taking represents a real hardship, For example, there could be a rule that says compensation will be paid only where the taking represents more than 15 percent of the affected individual's assets. The other is that we need some rules for placing realistic values on the economic loss imposed by regulatory takings.

    Note, there are a lot of economic winners from land use regulation. Indeed, land use regulation probably makes sense only where the winners could compensate the losers and still be better off. Moreover, our property tax system insures that some of those winnings acrues to the public fisc (altho Measures 5 and 47 has greatly weakened that system).

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    According to Coldwell Banker, a 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom home that costs $155,000 today in the Houston area would cost $357,000 in Portland. ( www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/4435647.html )

    There you have it: We are paying double what we should, compared to a town with NO LAND use controls. To the extent that M37 reduces the state’s death grip on land availability, it will help make housing affordable agin.

    Why do you want too keep up policies that are pricing homes out of reach, of the middle class?

    Keep M37, then go after the rest of the rules that make us pay 200% what we should be paying for housing. (renters are certainly paying too much too, probably several hundred dollars per month.)

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    If that excerpt is accurately framed, "the Houston area" is not equivalent to the City of Portland. And in any case, anybody who's BEEN to both places knows why the house costs more here--location, location, location.

    Houston is the perfect city to compare Portland to, as you note--because it makes it abundantly clear why land use controls are so necessary...otherwise you end up living in shitbag sprawlville.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    .otherwise you end up living in shitbag sprawlville.

    So you are gladly paying SEVERAL hundred a month to prevent sprawl?

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    There's more to what makes Portland great than sprawl, but you bet your ass I am paying it gladly. I watched two areas fall to sprawl while I lived there--DC and Richmond, VA--and I'll be damned if I'm going to live in someplace like that again, if I can help it.

    You get what you pay for...

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