Land Use in Oregon: A state of chaos

Over at Planetizen - a website for the urban planning, design and development community - they've got a long interview with Bob Stacey, executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. An excerpt:

The real question is, "What was the actual reduction in value when restrictive zoning was attached to that land?" Or in other words, "Did it impact the market-place expectations upon which people based their original purchase?"

Let's say it was 1965 and you bought some farmland close to the county seat, and the county had finally gotten around to doing some land use planning. Maybe they decided to place acreage residential zoning across a band of land around the county seat as a buffer, and so they zone the land for five-acre lot sizes. And so you buy some of this land and think, "You know? Someday I'm going to subdivide." And then along comes LCDC and down-zones it to farm land.

Now those people might have bought with one set of expectations, and paid more for that land. They could be able to show a real monetary loss.

But that's not what the typical property owner is doing. Instead, they are saying, "Give me a waiver or give me $10 million." Where do they get the $10 million? They say, "If I didn't have to follow the law that applies to my land and all my neighbors, I could sell it for the kind of development that's happening inside the urban growth boundary."

Read the rest. Discuss over there.


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