Why did the House approve this, exactly?

Carla Axtman

Okay. I realize that the Oregon House is in a 30-30 split and hey, sometimes a little give and take is necessary in order to make the sausage. But have we sunk so low that we're willing to toss current law completely out the window to satisfy somebody's pet project?


Eric Florip, The Oregonian:

The Oregon House has approved a bill that would clear the way for the extension of Southwest 124th Avenue in Tualatin -- long identified by city leaders as a top priority for transportation development in the area.

House Bill 3225 would create a "narrow exception" to state land-use laws, according to Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, who introduced the bill. It would allow the road to be built on what's now designated as urban reserve land by regional government Metro.

This is ridiculous. I can't fathom why there's a hot need for more industrial development in this region that would require any exception to Oregon's regular land use law system. This land is already in the urban reserves and will likely go into the urban growth boundary when next Metro makes those decisions.

Further, it's not as if there's a vast dearth of industrial square footage or industrial zoned property in the region. Just 7 miles down the road in Wilsonville there are hundreds of thousands of square feet of available corporate and industrial space available.

Why, exactly, should we give special dispensation to circumvent land use laws when the land in the area already developed isn't being used? But the bigger question for me is why there's some pressing need to get out of the regular, local public hearings processes that allows local citizens to show up and address this with their local government.

Hopefully the Senate will set a higher standard for itself than this.

  • (Show?)

    most of those who vote do not explain those votes. Matt Wand opposed this bill and so did Brian Clem. the vote, in fact, was bi-partisan, with 9 Rs voting no. of course, that meant a bunch of D yeses, including (not surprisingly) Schaufler, Nathonson (?), and Buckley (????). you can guess why the Representative from Happy Valley voted to chop down a bit of regulation but some of the others -- votes cast in silence.

    • (Show?)

      The lobbying on this, especially from GOP-affiliated lobby, was extensive. But there were some Dems in support of this as well.

      It just goes to show that simply having a "D" after the name is no guarantee that they're good on every policy. Or even most of it.

  • (Show?)

    Wouldn't it be nice if every Rep had to release a statement after every vote explaining the rationale for their vote. I don't know if many people would read them, but it might be nice to have.

  • (Show?)

    Spot on, Carla. Metro has a big challenge getting urban reserve designation taken seriously. Is is not helpful for the legislature to carve out exceptions, narrow or not, which violate the basic premise behind urban reserves.

    IMHO, legislative limits on Metro already unwisely promote more land development than necessary. Long-term growth projections will almost always be too high, as a result of our societal faith in infinite growth, which is folly, plain and simple.

connect with blueoregon