The size and scope of Measure 37 claims

As the legislature debates how to fix Measure 37, it can be easy to get lost in the nuances of land-use legalese or the ideological politics of the debate.

But just how big a problem is Measure 37? Are we talking about just a handful of folks who have been denied their "right" to build a single-family home - or are the claims much more widespread than that?

To help Oregonians visualize the size and scope of Measure 37's impact, Clackamas County and Washington County have produced maps that show you what's happening. Last week, Clackamas County Commissioners voted to mail their map to every resident of the county. From the O:

The county's 1,060 Measure 37 claims, valued at $1.6 billion, cover an area equal to about half of Portland, said Clackamas County Board of Commissioners chairwoman Martha Schrader.

Download the PDF maps here: Washington and Clackamas

Here's a snippet of the Clackamas map that shows you the area around the bend in the Willamette, near Canby and Oregon City. The green areas are approved Measure 37 claims. The orange areas are pending Measure 37 claims. Red areas are denied Measure 37 claims. The red line is the urban growth boundary -- and take note that most all of the Measure 37 claims are outside the UGB.



  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    While breaking out the claims into the three colors is informative, I'd like to see a map with all Measure 37 claims--approved, denied and pending--as one color, so show the absolute possible impact of the measure,

    One question: how representative is that map of the overal scope of Measure 37 claims?

  • (Show?)

    The Washington County maps has all of their claims in one color.

    As I was clipping this piece out of the overall Clackamas map, it seemed like a pretty representative chunk -- of the area outside the UGB. I don't know how it compares to the rest of the state.

  • Ak (unverified)

    do you own any of those properties? I am going to guess you don't. So why is it any of your business if someone wants to develop those properties?

    If you really don't want that land developed why not buy the properties for the fair market value and then leave them in their natural state?

  • (Show?)

    M37 really is a disaster, but by the time the majority of the population figures that out, it will probably be too late.

  • (Show?)

    So why is it any of your business if someone wants to develop those properties?

    Actually, AK, I was hoping to buy the place next door to your house. Me and a buddy are hoping to start a hog farm. Whaddya think?

  • (Show?)

    No, please, a pork rendering plant.

  • engineer (unverified)

    See the link below for a map of claims in Lane County. 395 claims, 34000 acres (averages out to 86 acres per claim-a little larger than your "mom and pop" type of claim). One of the consequences of residential development in mostly forested areas where the claims are being made is the incompatibility of residential and forestry uses. People locate in these areas assuming most of the land is federal (at least that's what the real estate agent tells them)and that logging will never occur. The reality is that a good deal of the forest land in the Coast Range is industrially owned, intensively managed. That means clearcut harvest every 50 years or so, log trucks going down the road at 4 AM, slash burning, aerial application of herbicides and fertilizers, and so on. This leads to conflicts between neighboring landowners. There is also another aspect of development in mountainous areas which is not addressed by the counties, and that is locating homes where they may be subject to fast moving, potentially fatal, landslides (debris flows) occurring hundreds to thousands of feet upslope. Often the most suitable place to locate the home (from a grading point of view) is on these so-called debris fans, which are the deposits from debris flows over time. They tend to be relatively flat, and somewhat elevated above the valley floor, making them "good" building sites. However they are unrecognizable to most developers and county permitting folks. Building on these sites can be fatal.

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    Charts, graphs and predictions of negative M37 outcomes would have been more appropriate before the election. Sixty one percent of Oregon voters approved M37. I though M37 was a stupid idea before the election and I believe it is a bad law now. But I was in the <u>minority</u>. Shouldn't M37 be left alone so that its "benefits" can be enjoyed by that same sixty one percent of approving voters? Either the majority of Oregonians willl LIKE the result of M37, in which case democracy worked, or perhaps the effects of M37 will be unpopular, in which case, presumably, it will be repealed or reversed by a <u>majority</u> of Oregonians.

  • Chicken Little (unverified)


    Where are the hog farm M37 applications of which you speak? Can you point to one? Or how about a rendering plant? Are there any of those claims either? And what exactly are people proposing in these green and brown areas? Has anyone bothered to check, or do you assume that its bad, just because?

    And engineer, since when does one property owner have the right to let his spray and/or pesticides drift onto another property owner's land? That's news to me. And doesn't M37 prohibit homes in areas that would endanger the public's health and safety, including that of the occupants?

    The irony of your comments Kari is that I'm guessing that on most of these properties, a hog farm is allowed under our land use laws. But don't let the facts get in the way of your hysteria.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    A friend of mine lives north of Prineville outside of the urban growth boundary by about a mile. He has lived on 80 acres there for about 40 years. He used to be in rodeo, and still keeps horses.

    As he told me a couple weeks ago, he filed a M37 claim to allow him to divide his property into residential lots (it is zoned EFU). He has no plans to actually divide his land, but filed the claim to preserve the "right" created under M37.

    And that is the problem of M37. It didn't preserve a right from before, it created an entire new set of "rights". He bought the 80 acres for a farm use, and never would have thought of dividing them to get retirement money until M37 came along. Now M37 gives him a "right" he would have never used 40 years ago. But times have changed, land values are through the ceiling, and today his land is worth thousands of times more than what he bought it for, but another hundred times more if it can be divided into residential lots.

    The County has no reason to deny his M37 claim, it is a done deal that this high value farm land will become residential land.

    And the map shows that this is happening many times over. Most of the people that voted for M37 probably thought it would be used by a few people with isolated claims with little impact upon the face of Oregon. But, the map shows that the impact is hardly isolated.

  • (Show?)

    What the State needs is an an organization or person the public trusts and respects to explain what M-37 will do to the landscape of Oregon--over the next 15-20 years. It is hilarious to see the M-37 folks with their 'chicken little' taunts--as if having nothing horrible be built 2 yrs after the measure passed proves anything.

    As for finding a trusted organization or person to explain what M-37 will really do-hmmmm.

  • Chicken Little (unverified)


    You had a fine answer on the post about Senate Bill 100. How about recognizing that not all land outside of cities is farmland and forestland, allowing development in those areas, and giving your friend the right to sell his development rights to a property owner in those areas? Sounds like a win/win for everyone, except those who have dominated land use "planning" for three decades, and want no development outside urban areas. If you really believe what you state in your post, you should advocate for that change.

    And Jimbo, you keep talking about what M37 will really do - what is that? Articulate what you think it will really do, and then check your scenario against the facts - then you can have a discussion beyond the "I don't like it" that permeates this board. But "discuss" at the end of a post on this board doesn't really mean that, does it? Shouldn't posters use "rant" instead?

  • Land Use Nerd (unverified)

    Under pre-Measure 37 laws, land outside cities ALREADY could be zoned as NONRESOURCE land if it wasn't farm or forestland. It could also be zoned for RURAL RESIDENTIAL.

    Farmers, developers and environmentalists worked for 30 years to find thoughtful, balanced solutions to the complexities of planning our communities. And Measure 37 destroyed all that with its simplistic rhetoric and outrageous results.

  • Howard (unverified)

    "Me and a buddy are hoping to start a hog farm. Whaddya think?"

    I think you know M37 doesn't waive regulations which prevent a hog farm from being "started" next to a neighborhood. In all the discussions of M37 the pig farm always comes up. Why?
    You can't debate the measure on it's substance and merit? That would take honesty?

    "Farmers, developers and environmentalists worked for 30 years to find thoughtful, balanced solutions to the complexities of planning our communities."

    "thoughtful, balanced solutions"? Is that what we had?

    The maps are meant to frighten people by giving the false impression all those patches will be swallowed up and gone for ever, by subdivisions and hog farms. In reality, or "truth", if one were to view the claims most of the parcels are "threatened" by the one house or a few houses on large parcels, with the bulk of the land remaining as it is. And in many cases it's marginal land to begin with, perfectly suited for use as housing. If the maps were accurate they would have dots on them to better represent the real impact. M37 critics just can't stand it. Make up things as you go, provide no evidence, mislead, rewrite history and make sweeping declarations.

    Kari knows better but throws in the Hog farms scare, our land use was "thoughtful solutions", and M37 is declared "disaster" by a law professor even though his own Dean fully disagrees. I thought this blog was evidenced based? No so much.

    I think if people are to be honest in this debate simply go to the Washington County website, go the the M37 claims link and read the claims. Reference the claims. For every 1 you spin as some future destruction 100 are utterly harmless.

  • (Show?)

    The pig farm comes up repeatedly, because it is an appropriate emblem for the perspective that no one, including the government, should have any input into what development goes on in their neighborhood. It was offered in direct response to the question, "So why is it any of your business if someone wants to develop those properties?"

    Whether it's "a few houses" or a hog farm, the fact remains that it WILL be gone forever. Also "forever" are the rights of corporations, who never die and thus will retain the right to flout ANY restriction EVER placed on such land in the future.

    Poor farming land is not automatically "perfect for housing." Land that is perfect for housing has water, roads, sewer, schools, etc., and is near enough to employment.

    Why reference WashCo, when Clackamas is right in front of you? Isn't it obvious the destructive power of giving some landowners special rights? For another thing, when will we receive all the back taxes not paid by EFU landowners; since apparently we're supposed to pretend the restrictions don't exist, then the favorable tax rates don't exist either. Pay up.

  • Ak (unverified)

    Wow.. that would be a lot of hog farms!

    Is there even demand for hog farms in an area with high residential demand? I am willing to bet there isn't.

    I am also willing to bet that the "high value farmland" you are so eagerly trying to "protect" is only valuable to you and your environmental goons, not the actual land owner.

    When the UGB was drawn back in the 70's, it created a system of winners and losers. The winners were those who already owned their 5 acre country estate, the home owners inside the boundary who regularly see a 50 to 100 percent increase in their equity annually, and the 'subsidy farmers' who are redeveloping every close-in neighborhood into a giant pearl district. The losers, of course, were the people who are stuck (outside the boundary) with a worthless piece of dirt.

    Pull the boundary and everyone inside will be stuck in some exotic mortgage scheme with negative equity, the condo farms will turn into intercity slums with art galaries, and the few outside will have 'gasp' neighbors! I can understand why you guys want to leave things the way they are.

  • Howard (unverified)

    Torrid, you are horrid, TJ>"appropriate emblem"? The pig farm comes up repeatedly, because it is a lie, pure and simple. M37 does not allow pig farms in or next to neighborhoods, period. No M37 proponents are advocating placing pig farms in or next to neighborhoods either. The "perspective" you speak of is a concoction to make property rights proponents appear extreme. You, simply cannot tell the truth.

    TJ>"It was offered in direct response to the question, "So why is it any of your business if someone wants to develop those properties?"

    The "hog farm" crack is NOT a response to that question at all. The question asked about "develop" not "hog farms". "Develop" would mean within the remaining land use regulations which M37 leaves in place. Such as the ones which prohibit hog farms in or next to neighborhoods.

    TJ>"If it's "a few houses" or a hog farm, the fact remains that it WILL be gone forever." What is "it". The footprint of the one house? Or few houses? Big deal. So in all those parcels on the map is a footprint dot where some structure may or may not "develop". What is "gone forever"? The prior unreasonable prohibition? Good. TJ>"Poor farming land is not automatically "perfect for housing." Land that is perfect for housing has water, roads, sewer, schools, etc., and is near enough to employment."

    On brother, now we see. It must be perfect according to Torrid, because simply suitable isn't good enough. You are why M37 passed.
    TJ>"Why reference WashCo, when Clackamas is right in front of you? Isn't it obvious the destructive power of giving some landowners special rights?" How is it obvious from that map? Are you that naive?

    I can tell you never looked at any of the claims. In any county did you. What does that map tell you, torrid? You could simply site and link to claims you think are destructive. I mentioned the Washington County claims because I read it over the last year and saw there is nothing to worry about at all. Quite the contrary. Big tax revenue increases for basic services will be coming.
    You want back taxes paid under some cockamamie BS you cooked up? Go file and petition and gather signatures, fund a campaign and get a measure passed. I'm sure you'll have lots of "hog farm" opponents to help you. The entire cabal that fought M37.

  • Chicken Little (unverified)

    Torrid, you are correct that poor farming land is not always appropriate for housing, although nearly all land has sufficient capability to support 5 acre homesites. Many people who live in cities don't understand how big a 5 acre parcel is. But if its poor farming land, why do you insist on having it zoned farmland, and what should the owner do with it? Don't hide behind the facade of saving the land for farming. If you can't farm the land profitably, then it isn't going to be farmed. So be truthful - are you interested in preserving farmland, or do you really just want the open space?

    Land Use Nerd, you are correct, but are trying to fool the audience. If Steve's claim is correct in his post on the Sadler article, 97% of the land outside cities is zoned as farmland. Are you saying that all of that land is really farmland, not nonresource land? If so, I question whether you have spent much time in rural areas. And if it really isn't farmland, then why do we keep it zoned that way?

    Can you describe the "thoughtful, balanced, solutions" that people have been working on for 30 years, and how M37 has "destroyed" that. Finally, please specify what "outrageous results" M37 has spawned. You are not "discussing" you are "ranting".

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)

    Torrid somehow believes a blot on a map means a 500 house suburban development. Maybe you should check and see what's actually going to happen to the blot before spewing your nonsense.

    Seems the left's gnashing of teeth over acres of suburban sprawl is limited to areas under Metro's densification mandates. You want to see massive deforestation and paving of green spaces? Check out any development within the UGB.

    Furthermore, the M37 land will start paying property taxes as soon as it's developed. Unlike the subsidized condo jungles in Portland.

  • steve (unverified)

    Here is the opinion of someone who lives outside the UGB- owns 5.4 acres and is against M37:

    What could be just as bad as a hog farm? I bought my land with the idea of having some peace and quiet near the city- now my neighbor has a claim in to put in row houses and apartments on his property. The first block will look right into my house. And this neighbor has been here less time than I have.

    So lets talk about the person who bought their property because they didn't have to worry about nearby development? My whole space is going to be ruined! What about my property rights? What about my right not to have a bunch of crappy apartments that will share my driveway and access road?

    The hog farm is an analogy meant to show you that a property owner should not do " whatever they want with it " The idea of land use planning was put together so that neighborhoods don't get ruined.

    If the guy in Prineville subdivides his horse farm- how long will it take for the people who move into those houses to complain about the flies and the smell of the other horse farms around?

    Fact based arguments? The pro 37 folks only have one argument. It's mine and I will do as I please with it. It sounds like kindergarden thinking to me.

  • Chicken Little (unverified)


    What is the zoning on your 5.4 acres? What laws prevented your neighbor from dividing his property (i.e. why didn't you have to worry about your neighbor developing his property)?

  • Michael Wilson (unverified)

    Hog farms and the pollution they may bring, or do bring should be dealt with as such. Maybe someone can develop hog farms that you might never know were there. Then what would the problem be? MW

  • Ben (unverified)

    Steve, You sound like someone who lived next to one of Metro's infill. Or anyone in the subburbs who witnessed the ultra urbanization of their neighborhood,,,against their will. The sea of roof, asphalt and concrete Metro says is preferrable has done much of what you just described. Was it thoughful? Why should you have some quarantee of peace and quiet near the city? Your neighbor may have a claim to put in row houses and apartments on his property but you should blame Metro if it happens. It's their density mandates that triggers that sort of density next to you. Otherwise you may have ended up with far more compatible development next door. Metro doesn't deal in compatibility. They deal in density. Good luck pal. Your whole space is going to be ruined? Hmmm. Why don;t you go to city and Metro hearings and advocate a reduction in the density in your neighborhood? Then you can find out what it's like to waste your time and be given the middle finger. M37 doesn't greenlight shared access roads and other atrocities you imagine. M37 doesn't "whatever they want with it".

    The idea of land use planning was put together so that neighborhoods get whatever planners dictate.

    You need to go get some real facts. And a for sale sign. Sounds like you'll be able to afford to move further out. That's the pat answer Metro uses for everyone they give the middle finger to. How's it feel? The pro M37 folks have the voters and Oregon Supreme Court and many zoning and building codes remaining that restrict what they can do . It's kindergarden reading.

  • Land Use Nerd (unverified)

    97% of the land outside cities is zoned as farmland. Are you saying that all of that land is really farmland, not nonresource land? If so, I question whether you have spent much time in rural areas. And if it really isn't farmland, then why do we keep it zoned that way?

    Can you describe the "thoughtful, balanced, solutions" that people have been working on for 30 years, and how M37 has "destroyed" that.

    (a) About as much land outside UGBs as inside is zoned for residential development (that is, about a million acres). Given that 80 to 90% of Oregonians live inside UGBs, you'd think that would be enough land. And much of what's outside UGBs isn't farmland, it's forestland.

    (b) Counties can zone for nonresource land if they want. We don't have to keep it zoned that way. As a side note, most of Oregon's leading crops are on "bad" farmland. Wine grapes, for example, and hay, cattle, grass seed, etc.

    (c) We've developed over 43 uses in "Exclusive" farm use zones. I think that's too tilted toward development, but others don't. In 1993, we passed HB 3661, which weakened farm protections in most of Oregon and strengthened them in the high-productive lands of the Willamette Valley. It allowed most people to build a house if they could at the time they purchased their property.

  • Chicken Little (unverified)


    Again you mislead and avoid the question. Of course there's as much rural residential land as city land. Rural residential zoning is just that - rural. Parcel sizes cannot be lower than 2 acres, and in most cases is significantly higher. So density is very low, reflecting the fact that these homes are in the country. But that doesn't mean that the land they call "farmland" or "forestland" should be called that because we already have enough rural residential land (which we don't). That avoids the point - if the land can't be farmed or forested profitably, then why tell the owner he/she has to be a farmer or forester. All you do is doom that land to lay fallow. If you want open space, be honest and say so. But that's not the spin that's sold to the public.

    Have you read LCDC's Goal 3 and Goal 4? It should be required reading for those supporting our existing "planning" system. Tell me how, under those definitions, a county can create a non-resource zone that truly reflects a parcels capability (or lack thereof) to be farmed or forested? That is the problem with statewide zoning - it is overinclusive. Even Ted Kulongoski laments how "planning" in Oregon has become "one size fits all." I can guarantee you that if counties could properly zone their nonresource land as nonresource, there'd be a lot more of it, and 97% of the land would not be called "farmland" or "forestland."

    You're also wrong about bad soils and ag products. Wine grapes and grass seed grow in predominantly class III-IV soils, which the state calls "high value farmland." But that begs a more fundamental question - why is it that we should tell a property owner that they have to sell their land to a wine grape grower or grass seed farmer? Do those industries need to be subsidized? Alternate uses of those lands are likely to be far more productive than wine grapes and golf course lawns. And if they aren't, it's in the property owner's best interest to plant them to grapes or grass seed.

    And be honest about the 43 uses in exclusive farm zones. Most of them have nothing to do with the "development" that is proposed by M37 claims. If they did, then there would be hardly any M37 claims. Not only that, but why do you think there are so many uses in farm zones. Could it have something to do with the fact that nearly every acre of rural Oregon is zoned for farm or forest use?

    Finally, you're wrong about House Bill 3661. It didn't weaken protections outside the valley. In fact, it was House Bill 3661 which told every county that they couldn't create new parcels in farm and forest zones (again, all rural Oregon)less than 80 acres, or 160 acres in Eastern Oregon. How did that weaken protections? It certainly weakened the agricultural industry, as it limited farmers options to use their land, but it did nothing to weaken the farm protections you talk about, which really is open space protection. And if it truly allowed most people to build a home if they could when they bought their property, then why are so many people seeking this option under M37. In fact, it was this gem of a statute that create LCDC's brilliant $80,000 income standard, another great idea from the deep thinkers in Salem.

  • Ben (unverified)

    Kari and company would rather talk about "hog farms" than the "LCDC's brilliant $80,000 income standard".

    Which shows us who relies on sybolism and who on substance. Or truth and honesty.

  • Ben (unverified)

    Kari and company would rather talk about "hog farms" than the "LCDC's brilliant $80,000 income standard".

    Which shows us who relies on sybolism and who on substance. Or truth and honesty.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Chicken Little wrote, "You had a fine answer on the post about Senate Bill 100. How about recognizing that not all land outside of cities is farmland and forestland, allowing development in those areas, and giving your friend the right to sell his development rights to a property owner in those areas? Sounds like a win/win for everyone, except those who have dominated land use "planning" for three decades, and want no development outside urban areas. If you really believe what you state in your post, you should advocate for that change."

    We have had experience with exactly this sort of thing in Crook County. The Juniper Acres sagebrush subdivision had the issue of the owner's rights to develop their 10 acre parcels in an EFU zone "solved" by capping the number of lots that could be developed, and assigning development rights in another area to those who did not develop their 10 acres. There are about 500 lots in Juniper Acres, and when all is said and done, including an annual lottery to see who gets building permits, about 150 lots will be developed. The rest of the lots, 350 or so, will have development rights good in the RRM-5 zone south of Prineville. That zone currently has a 5 acre minimum lot size, but by using the development right from Juniper Acres, you can change the minimum lot size to two-acres (which that area used to have prior to the zone change in the late 1990's). I hope you all follow that.

    (The RRM-5 zone southeast of Prineville is an approximately 35 square mile area zoned for residential / recreational use with a 5 acre minimum lot size. During the recent two year period while Crook County has been the fastest growing County in Oregon with a nearly 10% per year population growth, several new subdivisions have been added in that area with a total of well over 1,000 new 5 acre lots. -- We didn't need M37 to get to that.)

    Anyway, there is limited success with an exchange of development rights. One subdivision in the RRM-5 zone has been built with 2 acre lots created by buying the Juniper Acres development rights.

  • (Show?)

    Hmmmm... a little 2 a.m. snark about a hog farm and the M37-apologists go crazy.

    Methinks thou doth protest too much.

    So, let's set aside the hog farm concept. I'll rewrite:

    Actually, AK, I was hoping to buy the place next door to your house. Me and a buddy are hoping to put in a trailer park. Whaddya think?

    Or maybe:

    Actually, AK, I was hoping to buy the place next door to your house. Me and a buddy are hoping to put in a Wal-Mart and a 1500-space parking lot. Whaddya think?

    Or maybe this one:

    Actually, AK, I was hoping to buy the place next door to your house. Me and a buddy are hoping to put in a big ol' U-Storage facility - along with 24-hour flood lighting and an electric fence. Whaddya think?

    Everybody feel better now?

  • J Miller (unverified)

    Every county should produce a map like these while legislators are in Salem and before they deal with claims larger than a few houses.

    With these maps and a claim number I hope that residents can go somewhere to get a dollar amount for the claim and/or what waiver is being considered.

    The cost of mailing these maps to every resident in Clackamas County will be the best $$ they ever spent on citizen involvement!

  • Jerry (unverified)

    Since most of the above bloggers should like correct analysis of facts, they should consider the following. Washington Co was one of the first counties to publish their list of M37 claims, and what they constituted. A M37 claim on the tax role may consist of 100 acres but the applicant may have only based their claim on 1 to 5 homes. They may have also claimed more than what they were likely to develop based on the claim's attorney's advice. Or they claim the maximum that the regulations at the time of their property purchase would allow to protect their rights, but with unlikely intent to develop as such for various reasons.

    In the Washington Co cases as reviewed after 2000 M37 applications, less than 5% of all cases were claiming to develop more than 5 additional residences on the various sizes of property. There were only 5 applications that were claiming to develop projects that were not residential. This is the kind of analysis that should be performed for Clackamas Co. and all the other counties of Oregon. Assuming the whole colored area on the maps will be totally developed extensively with housing or more is false.

    All of the claims should be analysed carefully and recognize the points made above that what is claimed is not what will be developed. And while one makes these examinations, look for the pig farm cases.

  • Lee (unverified)

    It is interesting to review the above Clackamas map and to correlated the M37 claims to a GoggleMap search. Most of the properties within the map are somewhat to mostly surrounded by already higher density housing/development than the M37 claims. This is probably due to the fact that many M37 claim property owners have held their properties for (of course) more than 30 years to 50 years. They elected to continue farming, having a horse, a cow, neighbors not nearby. But for several years since 1973-78, after LCDC's acceptance of each counties/cities planning documents, zoning was changed to a little higher density that allowed a small increase in density. Then finally that "planning thinking" was reversed. So now those property owners that elected to keep their "open space" before SB100 and after are surrounded by higher density. Now they want the same rights as their neighbors. This is actually the case of most M37 claims in the five counties surrounding Portland.

    This is why the "hype" of the media (strongly against M37) surrounding M37 claims is lacking in the details, the analysis, and examining the "other side". If you want to be "fair" as some of you claim, then you must be open minded. In the Oregonian case I have found only ONE article that could be considered "unbiased" out of over 50 article in the past year.

  • Andy (unverified)

    I'm with my old prof James Huffman on this issue; why are people all worked up over Measure 37 claims? Houses won't get built if it doesn't make economic sense to build them.

    I'm in the Stafford area north of Wilsonville and there are lots of M37 claims around me. They don't bother me at all since in most cases there is already plenty of developed area here. For the most part, the M37 claims are filed by people who kept farming while others sold out years ago to development. The irony is that the ones who kept plugging away at their (mostly) unproductive farms are the ones who got screwed by the a-holes in Salem who made up new rules that prohibited development. Most of the land around here isn't really worth farming on. Besides, if you did try to run a real farm the fruitcakes would start screaming about tractors driving on the roads and pesticide spray and migrant workers who pick the crops, etc.

    I love M37. The jerks in Salem got too high and mighty and M37 was a good wake up call.

  • J Miller (unverified)

    Assuming the whole colored area on the maps will be totally developed extensively with housing or more is false.

    Jerry, this is simply bogus. Only half of the Measure 37 claims in Hood River County have a dollar amount attached, but the total is already $761 million. The average claim is $6 million -- clearly more than a house or two for the grandchildren.

    Hood River County has posted its maps but hasn't mailed them to residents.

    By including public lands in gray, the small map shows the full extent of M37 claims. The large map refers to individual claims right on the map, but unfortunatley doesn't show whether they've been approved/denied, or how much the claim is. You don't need a colored map to figure out how much of this is farmland!

    No matter how you translate $761 million worth of claims for development, or how many years you take to build it out, that's the end of farming in Hood River County. Who would invest in fruit trees with that kind of competition?

    The fact that many claimants, "have also claimed more than what they were likely to develop based on the claim's attorney's advice," is a pretty good reason to delay ALL of these claims in their tracks until the detailed analysis that you propose can be done. Which, by your account, will have to include interviews with claimants to determine what their development plans are.

  • raul (unverified)

    One thing I see on here is a lot of negative reactions to high density neighborhoods. My SE neighborhood has been increasing its density, and I see it as an improvement. This is how I choose to live- I like neighbors and enough business available to my local coffee shop and greasy spoon breakfast joint to keep these small businesses afloat. I lived in Beaverton, and you had to have a car to do anything.

    If you want to live in relative seclusion, you should be allowed to. Zoning is an agreement in your community that you want to keep the character of your area.

    Driving outside of Portland and being able to quickly see farms and open space is always a marvel to any visitor from out of state that I entertain. So many people who come visit dream of moving here ( that's when I start talking about the rain ) and I think we live in a wholly amazing state.

    Now we are paying folks not to build strip malls or ticky tacky houses. I am sick of the " it's mine " attitude. We need to work together to make this system work.

    The level of nastiness tied to some of these responses tend to reflect what I feel is the mindset of M37 supporters. I am sure that if the majority knew the ramifications of this measure, it would never have passed. If this were put on the ballot now, I am sure it would be repealed.

    We all know now it wasn't about that sweet little old lady. And you guys get mad about a hog farm analogy when this whole measure was sold on poor little granny adding another home on her property?

    Good thing out of state interests bought a lot of pro M37 ad space!!

  • Howard (unverified)

    Raul, Take a deep breath.

    "Now we are paying folks not to build strip malls or ticky tacky houses."

    Huh? Nice imagination. The "strip malls and ticky tacky houses" are the infill and TOD developments we are forced to subsidize with millions dollars.

    NO WHERE is anyone being paid to not build anything. You made that up and can't provide a single example.

    I too am "sick of the " it's mine " attitude." But it's Metro and other planners pretending like all property is theirs. They dont work together to make any suystem work.

    The level of nastiness tied to Metro policies and other punitive land use policies tend to reflect what I feel is the mindset of M37 opponents. All the while they make up things to push their agenda.

    The "majority" did hear the fabricated "ramifications" of this measure with the broad media blitz during the election campaign. If this were put on the ballot now, I am sure it would pass again because the opponents could only drag out the same fabrications, none of which have come true.

    Why don't you lecture us on how brilliant and well thought out Judge Mary Merten James' lawless M37 ruling was? Then, if you are so confident go get a balot inititatve underway to repeal M37. Pay all the money, get volunteeers, gather the signatures run the compaign. Oh, you would rather the legislature overturn it? Of course.

  • ws (unverified)

    Raul, I appreciate how you accurately explain the benefits of higher density communities even if others don't. As you explain in your comment, it is absolutely impressive in a very uplifting way to be able to travel out beyond the UGB to experience open country. This experience belongs to all Oregonians, not just individual property owners deceptively sold on the illusion of entitlement to speculative profit derived from the sale of that open country.

    Obliging Oregonians to pay for not delivering on that illusion is unjust and economically unfeasible.

    Actually, except for the fact that realistically putting together a land use property owner adjustment initiative seems to present such a challenge, I think that such an initiative with the objective of correcting the failures of M37 is a good idea. One way or another, M37 is probably doomed. Either that, or we as Oregonians are.

  • Land Use Nerd (unverified)

    Kulongoski is completely wrong to call our land use system one-size fits all. It's a lie.

    The rest of your rhetoric, sheesh, it's like you don't even read HB 3661 and then you ask me to read Goals 3 and 4 (for those who want to understand HB 3661, >here you go. If we have enough land for urban development (which you didn't dispute), why not keep our industrial lands (farm and forestland) in production?

    Here's the point: for 30 years we changed our land use system through checks and balances, Republicans and Democrats. We passed hundreds of bills to adjust it to local needs and changing circumstances. We created nonresource lands, rural residential lands, exceptions for this, for that, for the other thing.

    And then M37 just chucks the whole effort out the window. It was grossly irresponsible, and is an insult to our intelligence.

  • J Miller (unverified)

    We've heard that cities and counties have been bilking Measure 37 claimants with filing fees -- plus they're paying some hefty fees to land-use lawyers. But most of these claimants wrote checks with no intention of ever developing.

    Before the M37 vote, we heard that thousands of Oregonians have had their dreams stolen by LCDC. Now that several thousand claims have been dumped in front of us... Now that we have 180 days to decide which are gold diggers, and which aren't... OIA's talking points have been fine tuned a bit: Only 5% want to cash out to the max before Salem changes Measure 37.

    And timber interests? Even though they paid thousands of dollars to get M37 passed, it doesn't make any sense economically for timber companies to exploit their M37 windfall.

  • VR (unverified)

    Another problem is that M37 requires agencies to pay the claim based on the current value of the development - even though the law looking to be overturned might be much older.

    For example (this is all just random, I don't have any real details):

    A person has owned 10 acres in Zig-Zag for 50 years. 30 years ago they restrict development to no smaller than 2 acre lots. Now, in 2007 the person wants to divide it to 10 one acre lots.

    They make a claim, and NOW Zig-Zag is highly sought after and profitable and all that, so they claim a million dollars per acre loss value.

    But perhaps, 30 years ago - when the law was passed, adjusting for inflation, that might have been 200,000 an acre claim. And back then no one in their right mind would have wanted property in Zig-Zag for $200,000 an acre.

    So why should they be compensated for value that DID NOT EXIST when the regulation was implemented?

    So in reality, we should be compensating for the lost value of the land when the regulations were imposed (adjusted for inflation), so maybe in my example it might be more like $25,000 per acre or something.

    I don't see how people can ask for so much money in claims when what they are asking to do would never have been financialy viable when the regulation was changed.

    But that is just another issue - M37 is full of them.

  • GT (unverified)

    Not only did Clackamas send to everyone in Clackamas County - a few friends of mine who live in Marion county ALSO got these maps. They are nothing but a scare tactic and are very misleading. Let the development happen. Don't take away people's M37 claims! If you don't own the land, then keep your damn hands off! This is not a communist government or state but any more it's starting to seem like one.

  • cantshutmedown (unverified)

    You know what they really need to do? Make Metro it's own state and let the rest of the state form into a different one. I am so sick of the Metro overlords forcing land use policy down everyone's throat. Leave the claims ALONE! No taxation without representation.

  • VR (unverified)

    How is Metro forcing policy on the rest of the state?

  • Jerry (unverified)

    JMiller; "delaying ALL claims until the detailed analysis is done" is not modus operandi, sensible, or fair.

    I don't know if you are familar with the planning, development field, but having every detail finalized in the subdivision/platting phase is first not a present requirement in any existing process. How can one determine a request in final form when, for example, a roads/street department hasn't even determine the size of road/street/access that may be required. Many times,like in CoP, details of a project are not finalized by the over 18 departments that review a project, until the final day the building permit is granted.

    Secondly, M37 is explicit that having all details of a proposal is not a requirement for M37 submittal. M37 deals only with the zoning issues of a property, which is far different than the building codes, etc. of a total project. The latter issues would need to be totally reviewed and decided by all parties to establish what a applicant would propose under your request.

    Land division, sub-divisions, applying zoning, then building codes is a sequential process. All jurisdictions of city, county, and state government recognizes this process. It would be unfair, as well as impractible, to make M37 claims unique from all other accepted development procedures.

    As many bloggers have noted, after a M37 claim is accepted, the other required parts to development are then applied. For example, if one has 10 acres and they want to divide the parcel into 5 lots, the first two requirements if no urban services are available is: l) county sanitarian determines the suitability for septic systems, 2)the state watermaster would determine the availability of water. And then the long review process continues. That is why many bloggers and M37 applicants state that the final outcome will most likely not meet the M37 proposals in numbers.

    I don't follow your logic that because legal/planning advice recommends asking for more numbers than what may occur is any reason for a "delay". The "number" is two different processes.

  • Richard from the Pearl (unverified)

    "the final outcome will most likely not meet the M37 proposals in numbers"

    no no no, every M37 claim parcel, in it's entirety, will be wiped from the face of the planet, forever lost, never to return, while degrading every single adjacent parcel.

    All of those patches on the maps being sent out were studied by county planning staff utilizing their vast expertice and cunning insight into the outcomes of M37.

    It's clear that all of the predictions these same staffers and their allies made during the M37 campaign have come true. Billions will be lost, the land raped and there will be nothing left for global warming to destroy.
    I'm sorry, but someone had to tell you.

  • Chicken Little (unverified)


    Again you deceive, but this time with links to 1000 Friends website. Oh boy, there's a group that always lays out both sides.

    So where do we start. Well, lets start with what you ignored again - the language of Goals 3 and 4.

    Goal 3 is LCDC's "agricultural land" Goal. In that Goal, LCDC defines "agricultural land" as:

    "In western Oregon is land of predominantely Class I, II, III, and IV soils and in eastern Oregon is land of predominately Class I, II, III, IV, V, and VI soils as identified in the Soil Capability Classification System of the United States Soil Conservation Service, and other lands which are suitable for farm use taking into consideration soil fertility, suitability for grazing, climatic conditions, existing and future availability of water for farm irrigation purposes, existing land use patterns, technological and energy inputs required, or accepted farming patterns. Lands in other classes which are necessary to permit farm practices to be undertaken on adjacent or nearby lands, shall be included as agricultural land in any event."

    In Oregon, there are 8 soil classes, with Class I being the best and Class VIII being rocks. Under LCDC's definition, in Western Oregon all parcels with more than 50% of Class I-IV soils are automatically deemed agricultural land, regardless of what size they are, what is going on around them, whether they have historically been farmed, whether they have irrigation rights etc.

    What's worse, even those parcels (or portions of parcels) which are Class V - VIII get thrown into the definition of agricultural land, if they are "suitable for farming taking into consideration soil fertility, suitability for grazing, climatic conditions etc."

    So if you own a parcel of land in western Oregon composed of 51% class IV soil, and 49% class VI soils, that has never been farmed, you are called agricultural land by LCDC. Even if your parcel is 100% class VI soils in western Oregon, you are still zoned as agricultural land unless you can prove that your land is unsuitable for farming taking into consideration each of the various criteria listed in the rule, all of which are subjective and all of which can be challenged by the "Friends of I've got mine and screw the rest of you".

    And even if you can hire experts to prove that your land can't be farmed, LCDC will still define your land as agrilcultural land if it is nececessary to permit ag practices on adjacent or nearby lands.

    In eastern Oregon, its even worse. Parcels of predominantly Class I - VI soils are all automatically zoned as agricultural land, while class VII and VIII soils (rocks and rocks) can still be called agricultural land if you can't hire experts to disprove all of the additional criteria or if some "friends" group comes in and claims that keeping your rocks as open space is important to allowing farming on nearby parcels.

    LCDC defines "western Oregon" to include everything west of Wasco County in the north and Klamath County in the south. The rest of the state is "eastern Oregon." Do you really believe that by dividing things into "western Oregon" and "eastern Oregon" you have avoided the "one size fits all" claim of Gov. Kulongoski? What a joke. Explain how agricultural practices in the Treasure Valley are identical to those in Deschutes County? Or how ag practices in Jefferson County is like ag practices in Wallowa County? Or that Washington County farming is identical to Columbia County, Coos County, Curry County, or Douglas County. Kulongoski is right.

    LCDC defines "forestland" in Goal 4. They define it as:

    "Forest lands are those lands acknowledged as forest lands as of the date of adoption of this goal amendment. Where a plan is not acknowledged or a plan amendment involving forest lands is proposed, forest land shall include lands which are suitable for commercial forest uses including adjacent or nearby lands which are necessary to permit forest operations or practices and other forested lands that maintain soil, air, water and fish and wildlife resources."

    So if you're lucky enough not to have your rural land called "agricultural land" under Goal 3, it will almost automatically fall into the definition of "forest land" under Goal 4. If your land has trees, LCDC will argue that its either 1) suitable for commercial forest uses, 2) adjacent or nearby to land that is suitable for these purposes, or is 3) other forested land that maintain soil, air, water, and fish and wildlife resources. Doesn't every bit of rural land meet that definition.

    Is it any wonder why 97% of the state's rural land is called "agricultural land" or "forest land." What rural areas fall out of those definitions.

    And you're being misleading when you claim that counties can rezone land as nonresource land. Given the broad definitions of "agricultural land" and "forest land" in Goals 3 and 4, which counties have to follow, there is precious little land that doesn't meet those definitions. If your property falls into one of those two definitions, a county cannot call it nonresource land. They cannot, even if it makes all the sense in the world, and even if the residents of the county support the change. All because seven deep thinking political appointees of the Governor have decided what's best for the public.

    These definitions are the heart of the state's planning program, and were adopted in 1975, so you are fibbing when you claim that the land use system has changed over the years to provide flexibility.

    And you're also fibbing if you claim that these definitions were part of Senate Bill 100. The legislature has not defined agricultural land or forest land. LCDC did. Hell, Senate Bill 100 didn't make any mention of forest land, a tribute to the power of the timber lobby, who realized that if LCDC started regulating their lands, they were screwed. So don't say that the legislature or Tom McCall wanted to call 97% of the state's rural areas farmland or forestland.

    You talk about House Bill 3661, claiming that it distinguishes between regions across the state. BS. The distinctions are as broad as those in Goal 3. Eastern Oregon and western Oregon, or the Willamette Valley and everywhere else. No two counties are the same, so you can hardly say that LCDC or the legislature with HB 3661 are making distinctions that recognize the differences between the various regions of Oregon.

    And you don't mention that HB 3661 adopted 80 (non rangeland) and 160 (rangeland) acre minimum parcel sizes for agricultural land and forest land across the entire state. These are really 159 and 319 acre minimum parcel sizes, since a property owner in land called rangeland with a 319 acre parcel can't divide it in two, because he would create one parcel smaller than the 160 acre minimum. I ask you Nerd, do you have any idea how big a 319 acre parcel is? I do, and so do most people who don't live in the Portland metropolitan area.

    You claim that HB 3661 solved the problem for people who wanted to build one house on their property and had that right taken away. But if that were true then why the demand for those uses under M37?

    You also try to set up a red herring by stating that we have enough land for urban development, so why shouldn't we keep everything else as farm land or forestland. Well I never agreed that we had enough land for urban development, but even if we do, what the hell difference does that make? The fact remains that there are significant amounts of rural land that can't be farmed or forested, but that are forced to be called "agricultural land" or "forestland" as a result of overly broad definitions created by a non-elected board of 7 political appointees of the Governor in 1975. Why force a property owner to leave his land fallow because it isn't good for anything, and why tell someone who wants to build in an area that won't interfere with anything that they can't do so? Your blind obedience to this type of regulation is what will be the downfall of the planning system you defend, and is why people on your side of this issue believe that people with the "everything is just fine, Measure 37 was just an aberration, don't look behind the curtain" philosophy shouldn't be out front on this debate.

    Finally, you claim that M37 just chucks the whole effort out the window. Again, how can you say that with a straight face? Do you really believe that our only choices are the present system or M37? Do you have any idea how much land is affected by M37? Do you care? I'd submit that that type of dogmatic thinking is what pisses off the public.

    But if you feel the need to stay the course, go ahead. It won't be long before you're pushed aside with the other wingnuts on the left and right.


  • j_luthergoober (unverified)

    Yer old prof James Huffman hasn't checked the legitimacy of the Oregon Contractors Board lately has he? If there was ever a "take the money and run" based organization, the OCB has to be it. M37 will have %$*@ houses falling off hills, sinking into swamps; C of O's claimants will be lined up for miles; this is Oregon after all. Just remember that the court mandates that legal costs are paid first, a boon to litigators.

  • Howard (unverified)

    The anti-M37 fantasies never end. Now M37 exempts building codes and swamp protections?

    "Falling off hills:, "sinking into swamps" Oh my God, what if a M37 "Hog farm" falls off a hill and into a swamp? M37 is horrible. I never would have voted for it if I knew Hog Farms could fall off hills into swamps. Thanks so much for spreading the truth about M37.

    1000 Friends of Oregon: Just make it up and repeat it.

  • jaybeat (unverified)

    Good grief, Charlie Brown!

    Cities are cities. People live closer together. Don't like it, don't live there.

    Suburbs are cities with bigger lawns and without the ability to walk to the store. Gee, that's sure a smart idea! (Climate change, congestion, pollution and spending more time in your car than in your own home? No thanks.)

    The country is, well, the country. People live pretty far to very far apart, raise animals, grow crops, etc. Oh, and, newsflash, everything is not paved! No country, no farms, no forests, no food, no air, no life. No kidding.

    But if you let someone build a suburb in the middle of the country, or, for that matter, a suburb in the middle of the city, then you destroy what was there before, city or country. For ever. And that's your "right," because, because, why? Your "right" to wreck everything, for everybody, er, why? Oh, right.

    To get yours.

    That's what M37, so-called "property rights," corporate subsidies and all the other "You get yours, I'll get mine" crap the RW's been pushing forever is all about. Because, of course, the big, bad government wants to take your money, your property, your gun, and your daughter's virginity. That's the real problem. Can't have that. Wouldn't be 'merican.

    Puhleez. We're not that stupid.

    Oh, I guess some of us are.

    Rugged individualism aside, we are all in this together. If we wreck Oregon, North America, or the entire planet, we're all going to fry. It will suck. Can you really be sure that you'll have amassed enough money and "stuff" to escape, leaving the rest of us suckers here to die? Don't bet on it.

    Besides, even if you do, your God will make sure you burn in Hell for it.

    Do unto others...Remember that?

    Yeah. That's what I thought.

  • GMT (unverified)

    Again, I ask, why not just split off Metro from the rest of the state and let the greenies do what they want in the UGB and leave the rest of the state ALONE!

  • GMT Mama (unverified)

    About the giant maps sent out--by the way a friend in Marion County had a Clackamas map put in her mailbox. If you put all the M37 claims in one spot it wouldn't look like it is that serious. Also, why do you think that a M37 claim takes the parcel out of ag production? Many proposed homesites will be put on the edges of fields or in woods. Don't react so violently. Every claim should be viewed on a case by case situation without making such drastic assumptions. As for me, I have made a living on my acreage for 30 years, now it owes ME something. God gave us dominion over the earth, not vice versa. We don't plan on paving over or raping the land, just using it in a different way and sharing it with others! You know some folks want to have a small parcel in the country. In some ways it will look better than it does now. Hey, I don't like the crap they have put in Portland either.

  • GTgomama (unverified)

    I wonder if they used the claimants' money to print the stupid maps? There is a lady at my work who has invested every last dime in her retirement account for putting in septic systems and is getting ready to start building. If they put the kibosh to this thing at this late in the game, a LOT of people are going to go bankrupt. Then what is the wonderful State going to do? They'll have to put them on welfare. Listen up, greenies, is this what you want? A bunch of broke and angry people who you so egregiously STOLE their retirement from?

  • GMT (unverified)
    <h2>Maybe they can become panhandling bums and move to Portland and ride the MAX and Bus for free in the lovely "livable" city.</h2>
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