The Measure 37 land rush in Hood River

Monday's Oregonian had a fascinating article about the impact of Measure 37 on Hood River County.

One key stat? There are Measure 37 claims totaling 10,600 acres -- eight times the land area of Hood River city.

As negotiations begin, Hood River is emerging as the perfect case study. No other county's Measure 37 dynamics speak so directly to Oregon's changing economy and lifestyle.

Like many farmers, Hood River orchard owners compete with inexpensive, imported produce. And they know fewer young people return to the family farm. Unlike their counterparts, however, Hood River growers are tantalizingly close to an influx of vacation homeowners, retirees and commuters seeking the area's sporty-chic vibe.

Critics say Measure 37 could ruin the very qualities that attract people to Hood River, including one of the state's signature crops. They point to a pockmarked map of claims, urging legislators to suspend Measure 37 while they negotiate a compromise.

"The way it's written now, there will be no agriculture in this valley," says Gorham Blaine, a 36-year-old farmer who's part of the conservation-oriented Hood River Valley Residents Committee. He fears fellow farmers will quit investing in equipment and crops if housing becomes a real possibility.

There's also a broader piece in the O about the legislature's entry into the Measure 37 fray:

Everybody has an opinion about what the Oregon Legislature should do to the state's two-year-old property rights law.

Simplify development. Complicate development. Limit development. Take a timeout from Measure 37. Leave it alone. Give counties and state agencies more time to process the thousands of applications that poured in before a December cutoff for a more basic process.

A special committee will wade into the chaos starting Tuesday, with the goal of negotiating a compromise by early April.

Everybody has an opinion? Share yours here. Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    I have said this before on other blogs...I had a hard time deciding what was more sickening in Nov. '04, M-37 being passed by 61% of voters, or W. being re-elected. It will take some bold leadership from our state politicians to limit the damage M-37 will do to our state. We shall see if they our up to the task--I give it 50/50 odds.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Measure 37 is further proof of my theorem that:

       mass media + democracy = disaster
    

    Take a few minutes to review the top 10 programs on American television. Then ask yourself, would Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams and George Washington have risked their lives to establish a representative democracy in the US if they had known that by 2007, 80% of eligible voters would be spending 20+ hours a week watching mind numbing crap on a box called television? I can barely sleep at night knowing that the same people who made "Dancing With The Stars" the top rated television program for 2006 are the people who also make our land use laws and elect our local and national political leaders.

    I don't know the solution and wrassling is on the TV so I guess I will quit worrying about it.

  • ws (unverified)
    (Show?)

    It's hard to find a bright note in this news. Recognizing the possibility that the development of a huge population center in Hood River, one taking over rich arable land, could happen due to M37, or any reason for that matter, should be cause for alarm to anybody concerned about a quality standard of living accessible to residents of this state.

    Exhausting the states resources, clogging up existing roads and highways, destroying means of employment, all because property owners have come to be conditioned to expect a pot of gold out of land regulated by laws whose long ago origins were drawn from the fundamental need to protect a persons right to have a place to live and scratch out a living.

    If there's ever going to be a turn-a-round in this situation, somebody in leadership is going to have to see a greater purpose for land use laws than letting the state be sold out to the highest dollar.

  • Unrepentant liberal (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Measure 37? Just get rid of it. Enough details have come out about how it would really work that I think only a small minority of citizens would be angry to see it repealed.

  • (Show?)

    Measure 37 is irredeemably (sp?) damaged and should be scrapped. The issue that got people to vote for it in the first place, which it seems not to address at all, has to do with small property-rights fixes that need to be put into land use laws. M37 was always a land-grab by greedy developers who tried (and succeeded) in hoodwinking Oregonians. It is perhaps the worst public policy passed in the state in the last fifty years. And it's statutory! Pluck up your courage, Dems, and do the right thing.

  • J Miller (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Members (of the Hood River Ag, Forestry and Landowners Association) say they don't intend to build as many houses as they requested. Instead, they envision a few country homes for family members, or extra income to reinvest in the farm.

    And none of these same landowners have been making plans with destination resort developers like Mt. Hood Meadows. Never.

  • Jim Gilbert (unverified)
    (Show?)

    One of the less obvious effects of Measure 37 subdivisions in Hood River and elsewhere is the potential impact on water supplies. Imagine a 300 house subdivision, each house with a well drawing up to 15,000 gallons per day. These domestic wells are currently not regulated by the State.
    Latest figures on M-37 claims statewide: almost 250,000 acres asking for over $6 billion ($6,000,000,000!) of taxpayer dollars in compensation. Be sure to check out our website www.fix37.org and sign the petition if you haven't already. We'll present the petitions to the Governor and Legislature next week.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Measure 37 was proposed and passed for one basic reason - the electorate perceived that Oregon's land use laws were unfair to long-time rural property owners who wanted to build another few houses on their land.

    And, IMHO, they are unfair. In 1990 the State passed new rules for forest lands that required lot sizes of at least 80 acres and didn't allow the basic right to put one single-family dwelling on any existing lot unless the "template test," which required that a certain number of houses already exist in the vicinity, was met.

    In 1993 the State passed new rules for farm lands that no longer allowed, in most instances, new homes, even a single one on an existing lot, unless the home was assoicated with a working farm of a certain size.

    I know of no two decisions that sparked such lasting outrage among rural property owners. Oregonians in Action found a cause celebre. And Mreasure 37 was the eventual result.

    The irony, of course, is that the very urbanites who support the concept of exclusive farm and forest use land tend also to be the types who rail against the excesses of "clear-cutting" and the depredations of intensive farming activities on the environment (such as cattle grazing adjacent to streams). Yet that's exactly what the state's land use goals for rural lands are intended to promote.

    And then there's the economic problem. Farming is becoming a less profitable activity with the competition from abroad. Timber, while profitable, is restricted by environmental laws which rightfully protect stream corridors from the depredations of clear cutting.

    The solution? Repeal Measure 37, but put in place sensible and balanced rural land use laws that allow new residences on any existing legally created lot, and on new lots of at least 40 acres in size. Our forest and farm resources will be dminished, but not irretrievably, as they would be with smaller lot residential or urban development. It is certainly conceivable that a resident "martini farmer" on a 40-acre lot would lease the remainder of the land not used for immediate residential purposes to a farmer should it be ecnomically sensible to do so. And as for forest lands, do we really still want to promote clear-cutting or commercial forestry on private lands to the extent we have in the past?

    www.urbanplanning.overlord.blogspot.com

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I am just hoping that M37 will encourage people to move somewhere other than into a new condo tower or skinny lot in my neighborhood.

    Increasing density in Portland is: Increasing traffic congestion Increasing housing costs Increasing pollution. There is nothing good about increasing density in Portland - let the new housing be built somewhere else.

    Thanks JK

  • Just a Thought (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Although she's portrayed as simply a beleagured pear grower looking to scrape by, M37 claim filing Camille Hukari is much, much more. She's not only an Oregon Republican Party stalwart, with multiple copies of every R lawn sign blighting her Hwy 35 property every campaign season, she also serves on the Executive Committee of thug-like Oregon AgPac. As such, she strives to arrange the political table settings in the Capitol to reflect the enlightened views of the AgPac Board, which also includes Larry Campbell, Paulette Pyle (of Oregonians for Food and Shelter) and even Wes Lematta's Columbia Helicopters Inc.

  • Just Another Thought (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I got distracted and neglected to mention a couple of other things about Camille Hukari.

    Hukari represents on the AgPac Board the Hood River Grower-Shipper Association -- which is made up of about 350 orchard farmers and 20 fruit packing houses. In other words, she's speaking on behalf of a significant interest group.

    Also, she is Treasurer of the new Hood River Agriculture, Forestry and Landowners Association. This new group is aggressively working at the County, as well as the Capitol, to let folks "...know that any attempt to “clarify” the law in a way that doesn’t benefit landowners will be strongly resisted." (As discussed in the Jan. 13 edition of the Hood River News.)

    All of this to say that, while I don't know either woman, Hukari is no Dorothy English.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Except for a few special rights protected under the Constitution, the will of the majority of voters is the supreme law of our land. The voters may be stupid, misguided, short-sighted, or insane (and I believe many of them are) but the voters choose and we must accept the mandate of the majority.

    I don't like Measure 37 but it is frightening that so many progressives advocate that the legislature overturn Measure 37 because, in their opinion, the 60% majority of voters who approved it were "wrong" and we, as progressives, know more than the deluded voters about such things. As my law school professors liked to say, making a decision to override the will of the people is the top of a very slippery slope.

    If Measure 37 becomes painful enough to a majority of voters, they will abandon it. Once the dusty breeze begins to blow from that up-wind crematorium they build next door to your daughter's preschool, you won't have much trouble voting to roll back Measure 37. But until then, let the people bask in the glow of what they have done to themselves. That is the way it is supposed to work.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    If the liberal environmentalists want to preserve the rural landscape then they need to pool their money together and buy out the land! How dare they put in place restrictions on what someone can do with their own property! This is a FREE country, not a communist one.

  • (Show?)

    Way to go, Greg--that utterly newfangled concept, zoning.

    You won't mind if I build a hog farm, cement plant and live sex show multiplex on the properties adjacent to yours, will you?

  • (Show?)

    Ooh! Ooh! Can I build an IndyCar track on the other side of your place? This'll be fun!!!!

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Of course I don't mind. It's a FREE country! The marketplace should decide these things.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Of course leave it to the liberals to come up with the most extreme examples justifying their rationale for government intrusion in people's lives. Government knows best!!

  • Rational Liberal (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Greg,

    Based upon your posts of late across the blogosphere you seem like an angry man. Not sure what that is all about. If you don't like the answer you invited, do you have a middle ground solution or are you as quick with the cheap retort?

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Oh sure, just because I have a difference of opinion means I'm angry? No, it just means I don't agree with your opinion!

  • Rational (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thank you for confirming my fears. I wish you the best. May you find peace and fewer !!!! in your future.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Liberal - lacking moral restraint : LICENTIOUS

  • paul nevin (unverified)
    (Show?)

    like the phantom of the opera, I gave hood river county, the solution to measure 37. Very few of the landowners in hood river would want to pay taxes of development from when they originally bought the property. The idea is not original from me- but comes from the Clinton administration.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Here's my solution.

    Get the Nature Conservancy or some similar group to buy the land. Then they can have parks and rec. type activity on the land and push the farmers out. Then the environmentalist urban dwellers can play on the rural landscape whenever they want to. Who would want FARMING anyway? It ruins the environment and brings illegal immigration to the state. Besides, the government has made it nearly impossible to farm and turn a profit doing that anyway. Even though we have "some of the most fertile land in the world" farming is dwindling at an alarming rate. It's cheaper to import from around the world where there are lax restrictions and an abundance of cheap labor. Not to mention the pollution and (gasp) oil used to transport from other places. Are you happy now? I gave my solution. Now I dare you call me "angry" or "right wing" you liberal close minded half-witted simpleton!

    --GREG--

  • (Show?)

    Greg, your last post makes no sense whatsoever. The whole point of repealing M37 is to PRESERVE FARMLAND FOR FARMING.

    So how is the idea of non-farmers buying farmland from owners who don't want to farm, going to solve the problem of dwindling farming?

    And--point of order--if I recall correctly, Oregon is the only state in the country that has more farmers than it did 10 years ago.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    What do you consider farming, torridjoe? Is a greenie farming his 1/2 acre lot growing organic crap "farming"? Are you even FROM Oregon? My 7th generation Oregonian family owns 1000's of acres in rural farmland in Yamhill county and they are applying for M37 like mad. They're hopping mad that environmentalist whackos from Portland may try to reverse the will of the people. Farming is just not profitable any more. Oregon just doesn't have the competitive advantage in farming (ala the highest minimum wage, ridiculous "land use" laws, environmental restrictions, etc.) I moved to Portland and now work in the I.T. industry. I would REALLY love to live one on of the new lots they are about ready to start building on and commute into town. But that wouldn't be environmentally responsible for me to do so, would it? Besides Tri-Met MAX doesn't go to Dayton! This artificial UGB barrier is nothing but a scam, rigged to get developers building in it to extract the highest possible price for their properties. Most of the politicans who instituted the draconian SB100 weren't even FROM Oregon in the first place, but from places like NYC, Massachusetts, California, etc. Then they move here and ruled in a dictatorial like fashion. They passed the landmark SB100 bill WITHOUT a vote of the people and began the land use law without a referrendum. People have had enough! So they passed M37 in response. If they repeal it, there will be so much backlash that it could very well split Oregon into two states. Again, if you own property you should be able to do with it what you want. I can't believe that it's "OK" to build porn stores right next to a school but how dare you divide the farm land.

    --GREG--

  • dj (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dear Greg,

    How can you say with a straight face "farming [in Oregon]is dwindling at an alarming rate" when the state added almost 300,000 acres of irrigated farmland between 1995 and 2005? Huh? Duh? Checked the stats for the growth of the container nursery business segment lately? Or is that not farming?Checked the stats on the exports of Oregon farm products through the Port of Portland lately? The numbers are up and up.

    Jim Gilbert is right. Water is a huge issue that few are considering. We need to close the exempt well loophole in the water laws that allow new wells with absolutely no analysis of the effects on neighbor's water supplies, senior water right holders, streamflows, fish etc. This is a fairness issue. And exempt wells are the water source for many M37 developments - which are often located in areas where there is no further water available for appropriation.

    Why should a Umatilla farmer see his investment in water conservation and efficiency measures diluted by a new subdivision on adjacent property that punches dozens of exempt wells? Why should we allow a senior water right holder to have his water use injured by the new M37 development using exempt wells? Why should we tell an applicant for a water right that there is no further water available to appropriate and then allows dozens, hundreds, thousands of exempt wells to be installed. Do we give a damn about the property interests of the neighbor or the senior water right holder? Apparently not.

    This is a serious issue. We've got somewhere in the range of 230,000 of these wells in Oregon with tens of thousands more predicted in the Deschutes and Willamette basins and elsewhere if we don't ga handle on the problem.

    Property ownership carries with it (and has always carried with it) benefits and burdens. M37 supporters like the benefits part but want to ignore the burden side of the equation. Good fences may make good neighbors, but good luck if your neighbor still supports M37.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Interesting you bring up container nursery operations! I would consider such an operation under the umbrella of "agriculture" but not necessarily farming. Container nursery operations destroy the topsoil in much the same way as paving a parking lot does. They scrape all the topsoil and then place down a barrier, often with chemicals to prevent weeds from growing. Then they put gravel all over the top of the barrier. I'm not even going to mention the insane amount of pesticides that are used in such an operation. They often have to cover over many acres at a time with plastic to prevent drifting. At times illiterate illegal workers don't know to avoid an area where pesticides had been applied. Some get weird freakish medical conditions but are too dumb to connect that to the chemical exposure. I know a lot about this industry so don't try to act like you are an expert in this area! As far as the "my neighbor might not like it" argument.... That is just too damn bad. We don't always get what we want in life, do we? If we put laws in place that dealt with all of life's trifles then we would get nothing done at all! So basically quit whining about Measure 37. There are much more important issues to take care of, like the homeless and abysmal mental health system in Oregon. Measure 37 is the law, put into place by the voters. Now watch progress really start to take hold in Oregon.

  • ws (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Again, if you own property you should be able to do with it what you want. I can't believe that it's "OK" to build porn stores right next to a school but how dare you divide the farm land." greg tompkins

    What a crazy analogy. Porn stores do not represent a threat in the form of uncontolled consumption of forest, farmland, parkland, and so forth in any way or shape that housing developments can. Just curious Mr. Tompkins...is there anything particular that you do in the capacity of your employment in the Information Technology Industry that would lead you to draw such an analogy?

    Anyone with a doubt about the value of the UGB should only need to see an aerial view of the metro area to verify its value. Google earth might provide a view. At the UGB, suburban development is pretty much stopped cold from destroying open land. Without it, by now the tri-county area would probably have been more like Atlanta's suffocating sprawl.

    Really bad thing is, on those occasions when expansion of the UGB is conceded, the use that's applied is not carefully planned for the most efficient use of the newly available land. It's wasted on single family home lots, and low level apartment condo's not supported by efficient mass transit. Condo towers out in the suburbs? What's that? Oh, too expensive! Naturally, when you can still con the people to give over their irreplaceble farm, forestland, and wilderness to development.

    Many of the little guys who've possibly felt they suffered from Oregon's land use laws are, with the extraordinarily exploitive M37 claims being filed, starting to realize how badly they were hustled by real driving force behind M37: carpet bagging developers who hate any law that interferes with their ability to gorge upon a resource until its irreplaceable value is gone forever.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Mr WS or whatever you are, too ashamed to go by their real name.... What's this "threat" you're talking about? Economic development and prosperity for all Oregonians? OH NO! Who are you to mandate how people ought to live? What if I don't WANT to live in some stupid condo tower by a toy train. Why do you and your type advocate that people don't have CHOICES in how they live? Isn't that what this country is about - choices and freedom? All the naysayers and whiners against Measure 37 are just upset because they have been conned into ultracramped condos on top of the former landfill and right next to the toy train lines. And when they go outside they get the lovely stench of poo flowing in the storm drains and cigarette smoke. They wish they, too, could live in a rural setting with a big house and land! But that wouldn't be FAIR, they want distribution of wealth and land, too. Enough with this experiment in communism, Oregon style.

  • (Show?)

    What a curious mix of megalomania and persecution complex! First it's "organic crap," then you're all worried about the container industry and pesticides. You claim land use is all about stifling growth, and that growth is the ultimate good--but sniff at the growing economic power of Oregon's agricultural community as somehow unimportant. You superordinate your native Oregonianism (born in Emmanuel Hospital Portland, by the way), and then act as if environmental preservation and the cooperative community were some alien features of culture from another planet instead of longstanding Oregon tradition. You claim you know all about the industry, but it's very life blood--water--and the serious potential for resource inequity and jeopardy to every farmer's livelihood under M37 seem to pass beneath your concern.

    And of course there's the most primal irony--that you advocate so forcefully for fairness and equity for the landowner...but advocate for a law that treats landowners unfairly and differently from each other, giving some rights to land others right next door won't have. Will you be there for the farmer, when the 40 new wells dug in the subdivision next door dry up his crop? You think you hate urban elitism, wait until they show up in your little clump of heaven every weekend for golf and winetasting in their resort condos and salon ranches. Or maybe it's a casino you'd like?

  • ws (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Tompkins, that was quite a performance! If it's so bad in Oregon, why not leave? There's no steel bars on the border in any direction of the compass. You're family owns 1000's of acres in Yamhill County? I missed that the first time. You're the envy of many, many people. You really have nothing to complain about whatsoever. There's lots of people working in Information Technology that have not even a single rural acre that they own to so much as go out and visit.

    My family raised me and my siblings on a five acre farm on the outskirts of Beaverton. To this day, as far as I know, you can still do things there like grow food. No doubt the same applies to some of your family's 1000's of acres of farmland. Finally though, my parents place is being 'burbed out. Sure, I guess they and we kids will benefit from the appreciation of land value through its conversion to suburban development eventually, but it's not exactly a great consolation because of what's being lost. If they could have afforded it 50 years ago, they would have loved having some of your family's 1000's of acres that they could be enjoying as your family is doing so today. So maybe your family doesn't care so much about that today. Oregon's protective land use laws are there for those people of today and future generations that do care. This is the general area where the right of any property owner to do whatever he wants to with his property begins and ends.

    Anonymity on this site is still an option for the moment as far as I know. Until I feel confidently able to accurately cite sources, as some of the better writers on this site do, for the opinions I try to express in as balanced a manner as seems called for, I'll continue to make use of that option. And that pretty much wraps up the extent of my "shame" to disclose my identity as far as I'm concerned. Hope this, and the comments of everyone else have helped to answer your questions.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    torridjoe, I was not born in the Emmanuel Hospital. Actually, I was born where the psycho ward is now, in Salem on Center Street. I think at the time it was called Salem General Hospital. Anyway, now that we've cleared that up...

    Way to go with the labels. You sound like a typical liberal who just writes everyone off in a knee-jerk reaction who doesn't believe the same way you do. And with regard to the "water" sky is falling alarmism.... Since when is water a problem in this state? If it were to become a problem at some point in the future, we could just pump it out of the rivers or the ocean. Environmental preservation is a worthwhile cause, I agree. So get the environmentalists to buy land so they can "preserve" it! Don't expect (or force) landowners to all have the same goals with their property. The current system isn't fair. The legislature passed SB100 without a vote of the people, creating an unequal system - those within the UGB and those outside it. Those within can divide their property while those outside it cannot? How is this "FAIR"? SB100 was forced down the throats of all Oregonians and then upheld by liberal activist judges. There was no fairness in the way that came about. Many property owners who owned property along the Willamette had their property seized from the state and they were not compensated a single penny. Why? The state needed the land for the "Willamette River Greenway", their utopian project that would have created a park up and down both sides of the river. And that Massachusetts liberal Tom McCall was one of the biggest proponents. He waltzed into the state and then in a very hypocritcal fashion practically declared war on anyone trying to move in from other states. Then he created 1000 friends of Oregon. Go to their website and you see cheery pictures of urbanites in canoes paddling through the river. They don't care about the farmers! All they care about is preserving the open spaces so the urbanites can feel good while traipsing through the rural environs. How selfish is that? The state has no right to dictate what can and cannot be done with private property without proper (market value) compensation. That is totally against the U.S. Constitution. Now I see they are trying to bring "free" government health care to Oregon. With the huge influx of migration that will bring, shouldn't we look into expanding the areas for development? You can't expect EVERYONE to move into the Pearl or SoWhat and ride the tram!

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    WS,

    Why would I want to leave Oregon? Just because I don't agree with your doltish philosophy shouldn't mean that I have to leave. What kind of "progressive" attitude is that?

    --GREG--

  • ws (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Tompkins, you don't have to leave: You mentioned choices and freedom, and I'm just reminding you that nobody is forcing you to stay here. The choice and freedom is available for you to leave. Your utopian dream likely awaits you elsewhere! Go to it and take your insulting manner with you.

  • dj (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Actually Mr. Tompkins, what I was doing was asking you to consider and respond to two things: 1. your statement that ag is dwindling at an alarming rate in Oregon and 2. the water issue. You did neither.

    Ag is expanding in multiple sectors in Oregon in spite of (or perhaps because of?) the types of controls you care so deeply about and reject. What's your reasoned response?

    As to water, M37 undermines the security of ag water supplies and ag investments in water efficiency and water conservation. Do you have a rational response or not?

    Not holding my breath. . . .

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Good. I'm not going to leave. I'm just going to big a big proponent to get rid of these stupid policies and make Oregon truly "progressive". :)

  • (Show?)

    Uh, Greg, it's ME who was born at Emmanuel. You snidely asked if I was even an Oregonian. I am.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hi dj....

    You are right, I was all wet on the "farming is dwindling at an alarming rate here in Oregon" assertion. What I have seen out in YamCo. is the disappearance of many family farms that have been in operation for a long time for the more chic wine growing and nursery operations. Over the last 20 years many Californians have moved in and bought out lots of land. What can I say? Perhaps wine production and nursery operations are more sustainable and have greater societal value than more traditional forms of farming. As far as water goes, we have tons of it here and if we are ever short we can just pump out of the rivers or the ocean or truck it in from elsewhere. What I have observed, however, on this issue and others is that "progressives" just like to object to everything, claim "the sky is falling" and block any activity from taking place. Then they deride anyone who says something that doesn't agree with them. Sounds very open minded, doesn't it?

  • theberle (unverified)
    (Show?)
    The legislature passed SB100 without a vote of the people, creating an unequal system - those within the UGB and those outside it...SB100 was forced down the throats of all Oregonians and then upheld by liberal activist judges.

    What a load of empty rhetoric!

    First, SB100 was voted in by the elected legislature -- this is how a representative democracy like the USA works. The electorate votes for legislators who then create our laws. Since you were born and raised here in Oregon, I would think you would have realized by now that you don't get to vote on every single law, and it would be ridiculous to do so.

    Second, I thought that the meaning of the term "activist judge" referred to judges who overturned laws passed by the elected legislature, not judges who uphold those laws. How is a judge an activist simply by upholding a law? Or is this just your meaningless catchphrase for decisions you don't like?

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Empty rhetoric? Define that! Is that anything that doesn't align with your views?

    Three times initiative petitions tried to overturn SB 100, and the third attempt, after being approved by voters, was disqualified by the Oregon Supreme Court.

    Tell me this isn't judicial tyrrany and activism??!?

  • (Show?)

    Greg Tomkins-

    Was the third time Measure 7? I'm not familiar with whatever two preceded it.

    If so, the reason was the unconstitutionality of the Measure. Oregon law requires that two issues cannot be combined in a single ballot initiative, and Measure 7 failed to meet that requirement. That's hardly judges taking an "activist" or legislative position, it's judges doing their job, pure and simple.

    Furthermore, the same Supreme Court - exactly the same 7 Justices, I believe, and I think it was unanimous - upheld Measure 37 a few years later, stating explicitly:

    "Whether Measure 37 as a policy choice is wise or foolish, farsighted or blind, is beyond this court's purview."

    Were they tyrannical in that decision, Greg, or just a bunch of activists? Or is that case too inconvenient for you to address?

    Your arguments about the measure were farfetched enough to begin with - please don't drag the Courts into it, that's where it just gets ridiculous.

  • ws (unverified)
    (Show?)

    That's the sad thing about initiative petitions. The majority of them are written and promoted by people who make very little effort to research the proposed law's constitutional validity and fairness. Initiative petitions have been exploited and abused by special interest groups to rile up voters and shake their support of and confidence in the legislative procedure. Takes a while to learn and understand how the legislature works. When people dishonestly use initiative petitions to mislead the people and undermine the function of government, people stop trying to learn, and as a result, you get bonehead laws from measures like M37.

    The initiative petition isn't supposed to be something that trumps constitutional provisions. I'm not exactly sure what the official basis for its existence is, but I look at it as primarily a way for the public to directly convey their feelings about a particular issue directly to the legislature. That doesn't mean that laws passed by way of it should disregard the fundamental concepts that provided for its existence.

    Petition signers don't have the time to research laws proposed by petition. Government exists in part so that people who know what the constitution is designed to provide the people with in terms of rights and quality of life, can be employed to put laws together that can actually do this. That's how we come to have SB 100. A lot of people have a pretty high regard for McCall, his republican pal Hector McPherson, and Ted Hallock for being part of accomplishing this.

    I'm sorry Tompkins is frustrated about his family owning those 1000's of acres of rural Yamhill county farmland, and not being able to generate profits from them that owners of other types of land have. Wealth derived that way just can't reasonably come with a guarantee. His family does however, have choices in terms of what to do with their land.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    What is the most profitable venture I could legally undergo and at the same time really inflame people's NIMBYISM? I need to do some research!

  • Sam Lowry (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Despite the strident tone of Gov. Kulongoski's letter to the, originally, Senate, now Joint Land Use Fairness Committee (see www.oregon.gov/gov/docs/m37011907.pdf), the legislature is very aware of the degree of vehement anger against the planning program (planning in general), and seems unlikely to repeal Measure 37 by bill for fear of the sort of backlash the poster above speaks of. More llkely, I suspect, is a referendum - a Measure 37 "fix" back before voters. If the Governor and many other observers are correct in their assessment that the rush of claims in the final days before the initial deadline, Dec. 4, showed the bill's deep flaws and alienated masses of swing voters, then M37 will be tried, and declawed, in the court of public opinion. Another poster above was correct: what's needed - and the Big Look task force is headed there - is reasonable rural development planning, and money to fund it. Personally I hope the culture wars subside and we see some shaking of hands over Oregon solutions. Time will tell.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    If ANY changes are made the Measure 37 there will be a huge public outcry and a revolt will ensue. It will be much like what happened when they proposed the Mt. Hood Freeway and everyone got up in arms about it. Maybe the whole matter will end up in the Supreme Court and they end up tossing out m37 AND SB100!! We can only hope.

  • Deep Breath (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Greg Tompkins

    While you've roused quite a few comments here, I'm still a little confused.

    You talk about promoting agriculture, and suggest BM 37 does just that.

    But your family wants to get rid of your farm land by using BM 37?

    So your family doesn't want to promote agriculture any longer.

    In fact, it seems your family wants to be developers.

    And I thought you said you work in IT?

    So are you giving up on agriculture comletely? Are you looking for genuine ways to actually improve the ag business?

    And, just curious, your family didn't join some of the others in Yamhill County who found wine production much more profitable than other forms of farming?

    You seem to know a good deal about the history of Oregon's land use system, and, frankly, I suspect you know much more than you're letting on. For example, farmers and native Oregonians in the legislature also voted for SB 100.

    I don't know, but you seem pretty worked up about all of this and also appear to relish tossing labels and invective arround. You suggest that "progessives" smear those who disagree, but those claims stumble over fairly harsh, knee-jerk phrases of your own (e.g., "comunism Oregon style").

    That's not a very productive way to get "us" to understand -- either your complaints, the troubles facing agriculture, or the way you see land use operating in rural lands.

    It is, however, apparently a very productive tactic to get a great many of the above respondents to waste a considerable amount of their time in marshalling their facts and arguments in the hope of creating an actual dialogue.

    Not working, is it?

    And, by the way, please turn off your radio.

  • Radio Silence (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "While you've roused quite a few comments here, I'm still a little confused."

    You think you are? Check with Greg.

    Greg, word of advice. Turn of the !!!!, listen, and quit posting angry rants all over the internet. Your point of view is fine. Your communication of the pov, not so much. I am trying to imagine myself thinking about a offering you a job in IT (or farming for that matter) and doing a quick Google search. For goodness sakes, I hope that Greg Tompkins is not your real name.

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Now with statements like these should I be worried? Am I going to get hate mail or is my employer going to be notified that I'm "posting angry rants all over the internet"? Yes it is my REAL name. Are you going to stalk me now and put threats in my mailbox like the guys at 1000 friends of Oregon are doing to my parents right now? Threats and intimidation almost every day because they feel passionate, too, about the environment. I admit I am really worked up about the issue and feel passionate about it. At the time time, however, I take issue with people who just write me off with insulting comments like "If you don't like it here, then move". I love this state and I love how people here genuinely care about each other. (well not ALL do but it's more prominent here than other places). I really like this site even though my political views aren't in line with most posters! (sorry for the exclamation points I'll try to keep it to a minimum from now on). It looks like a lot of work went into it and being in I.T. I appreciate it all the more....

    Anyway if you're interested in a little background my family came to Oregon in 1847 and their original Donation Land Claim was in West Linn - the area known as "Bolton". There is even a street named after them (look it up if you don't believe me). Then in the early 1900's the next generation put all of their belongings on a barge and pulled by horses along the river moved to an area just south of Dayton called Grand Island (again, Google it if you don't believe me). There is a spot on the exact place they landed called "Tompkins Landing". At one point in time they even owned nearly the entire island and became very successful in cherry production and melons and other things. They even owned their own cannery but rumor has it some jealous neighbor burned it down and it was a total loss. My (something great-great-great granduncle, don't know exactly) back in the 30's or maybe 40's timeframe was a Senator and the Grangemaster of the State of Oregon. His name was Morton Tompkins. So that tradition of fruit farming carried down to my grandfather and he is retired now. There is another long tradition of farming from my mom's side of the family but they are "newcomers" onto the Oregon scene. My grandma was born in Kansas and my grandpa from Dallas, Oregon. I believe his grandparents were settlers in Polk county early 1900's. So yeah a long time there too but not "Oregon Trail Days" like my dad's side.

    Anyway my grandma and grandpa had lots of property. They even upset people in the community with deeper roots (i.e. Pioneers) with their land buying sprees. They were very successful in more what I would call "traditional farming". Mostly wheat and corn and bush beans - things that were harvested more by machines rather than "picked" like the fruit my father's side succeeded in. My grandma is still living as are both of my paternal grandparents.

    Anyway, now to my parents. They bought a tiny lot of 39 acres (well tiny compared to the 1000's of acres my grandparents from both sides had) after my dad got out of the Vietnam War. They struggled and worked VERY hard to get what they had as my grandparents from both sides wouldn't just dole out money at a whim. My mom worked for the Federal Highway Administration in Salem actually ironically the project she worked on was the Mt. Hood Freeway that we all know what happened to :( At the same time my dad worked for some employer too so neither one of them were "farmers". Their neighbors who were not related to the family at all were very successful in growing field cut flowers. The neighbors were getting up there in age so they asked my parents to take over their business which they did. So my parents got into the "field cut flower" business probably a short time after I was born in 1975. I heard that my dad caught a lot of flack for not following tradition and being a "real farmer" but rather a flower grower? Flower growing is very profitable, even on their 10-15 acres of "production". Even farmers with several hundred acres couldn't make as much as my mom and dad did on their "tiny parcel" of 10-15 acres. Anyway..... so my dad started to make trips to Portland 3 times a week in the summer to sell flowers at the Portland Flower Market which at the time is where the Rejuvenations is now. I still remember as a kid coming to the "big city" and hobnobbing with the other flower growers. It was a lot of fun! Anyway my mom and dad are still doing this today even though they are getting close to retirement age themselves. So in my early childhood life I helped them with ALL aspects of the business, I even got them up and running on a very rudimentary "A/R" system on a computer when I was 6 or 7 years old. Our first one was a TRS-80! Remember those?? And to this day I don't consider my parents or family in the "wealthy" category. I remember getting a lot of flack from other students in school at Amity that I was a "spoiled rich brat" and they made fun of me. Well most of the people from there are inbred tweaker trailer trash like people. Anyway so my parents pulled me out of public school and sent to private even though they had to sacrifice a WHOLE lot in order to do so. They didn't want me to be constantly ridiculed by my peers and also felt the public education system was inadequate. I honestly thought while growing up that I would one day take over the successful flower business from my parents but the older I got the more I realized the crazy amount of work they had to do in order to be successful. In my early teen years, golly I would say Freshman year my parents got new neighbors who were tied to the nursery industry. Then my sophomore year in high school I got a part time job working for Monrovia Nursery in the shipping/receiving department. I had a LOT of responsibility for a 16 year old. I processed trucks, verified invoicing for accuracy and telling the (sometimes surly and intimidating) truck drivers how to care for the loads and give them directions, etc. So my interest and aptitude with computers grew and so did my interest in container nursery operations. I worked part time in the spring and full-time in the summer doing actual OUTSIDE work (pruning the bushes, propagation, etc.) Monrovia was growing by leaps and bounds, alarming the local farmers who felt the container nursery operations were destroying the land because like I mentioned they strip all the topsoil, put down chemicals, barriers, and lots of gravel. Anyway, did the Monrovia thing even until I was in college then my computer strivings really took off to the point I lost interest in yet another horticultural pursuit, container nursery operations. While I was in college I worked 2 different work study jobs AND a full time job at Incredible Universe. Then I started independent computer consulting helping people around Newberg and McMinnville all this while in college. I was the envy of all my peers and I'm not gloating I just think it worked well for me at the time. After I got out of college, I've been in I.T. in a number of different industries since. I now live in Portland near Lloyd Center. Though I long for the rural life my income up here is really good and I don't envy the hard farming work - it really is hard hard work. However, at the same time I would absolutely LOVE to get back into it to some degree and still work in I.T. in the Portland area. Maybe this is conflicting goals and won't happen. So that brings us to the here and now..... M37 passed and so now a lot of people are applying for subdivision. A lot of the alarmists fear that all of a sudden mass development is going to suddenly break out. That really is not going to happen. A lot of rural landowners would very much like to continue to use their land for farming but just have the OPTION to subdivide their land at a later point in time should they choose to do so in case one day farming is no longer sustainable. And since Oregon has the highest minimum wage, combined with a lot of restrictions it really is hard for the small family grower these days. And with regard to wine growing my family is a bunch of tetotalers so would have a moral objection to such an operation :) I understand the objection and crying foul over such divisions as the lumber companies dividing and big corporations. Yeah that will probably happen too unfortunately but the smaller family owned operations should, in my opinion, be allowed to subdivide. Even with the growth restrictions for the Metro area, they keep moving out the UGB and farmland will be gobbled up anyway so why even bother with restricting something that is going to naturally happen over time anyway? Thanks for hearing me rant and I appreciate the constructive feedback. Have a great day :)

    --GREG--

in the news 2007

connect with blueoregon