Sunday, September 03, 2006


A Prop 90 preview - learn from someone else's mistakes

This gentleman, an Oregon voter, supported Measure 37 which was very similar to our own Proposition 90. Ted Schroeder is quoted in an article from the High County News, entitled: "I Kick Myself for being so Naive."
"The way Measure 37 was presented to the public, prior to the election, they paraded the little old lady who had 20 acres in the ads, they had (her) saying, ‘Well, my retirement was going to (rely on the) 20 acres, and I was going to sell five acres, and the land-use laws won’t let me.’ … The other ad had to do with families who had farmed, say, a 300-acre parcel for a lot of years and (regulations prevented their children from putting) a house on five acres so they could stay on the farm. That was the appeal they made to the public. … There are people like me who aren’t sophisticated voters, who don’t read the fine print in the voter’s pamphlets. In my naiveté, I thought I was voting to help relieve those sorts of situations."
Apparently a corporation up there is attempting to use the law to convert agriculturally zoned land in this very rural area into a major housing tract, which will turn the whole community upside down.
A neighboring family, operating as Terra-Magic Inc., has filed a Measure 37 claim, seeking to brush aside agricultural zoning and subdivide 1,400 acres of prime farmland into 335 home sites. The valley is mostly farms, which grow mint, grass seed, potatoes, alfalfa and wheat. Many residents say that an influx of homes on small lots would change the valley’s character forever. Opponents also say it would cause conflicts with farm activities, including increased traffic, dogs harassing livestock, and intolerance toward field burning and pre-dawn harvesting.
Bill Rose is another Oregon voter living about 20 miles south of Portland. He also voted for Measure 37.
Then one of his neighbors filed a Measure 37 claim, to convert a 40-acre berry farm into lots as small as one-seventh of an acre for 280 houses. The developer wanted the Clackamas County government to waive the agricultural zoning or pay him at least $3.6 million. The county had no choice but to approve the claim...
He also feels like a chump, the measure having precisely the opposite effect advertised.
"I thought that was the intent (of Measure 37) — farm ground should stay farm ground, and ground you can’t farm would go to houses, in selected places. But it didn’t turn out that way. … The sewage, cars and people (from the 280 new houses) would be very detrimental to the livability here. I have a 40-acre lake I made, and all the drainage will come into it. I am sure my lake will be ruined. … Our roads are (already) glutted, our schools are glutted, our policemen are overworked, firemen can’t keep up, and we’re going to have all these (new) people in here? It’s crazy. … The farm ground is up to $14,000 an acre now. It’s speculation (due to Measure 37) and the belief that you can subdivide. … The idea (for relaxing a few regulations) is good, but it wasn’t thought through, and now it’s clear out of control."
Renee Ross also failed to read the fine print.
Renee Ross and her husband, Bryan, live on 32 acres near Molalla, southeast of Portland. It’s hilly, with woods and pasture, and spring-fed Teasel Creek flows through it. She also thought Measure 37 was a good idea. Now, two of her neighbors have filed Measure 37 claims: One wants to build 10 houses on 60 acres, and the other wants to dig a gravel mine on 80 acres. Handcuffed by Measure 37, the Clackamas County government OK’d both claims. Ross and 46 other neighbors signed a petition asking the county to deny the mining claim. Now she’s trying to persuade the state geology agency to declare it an unsafe land use. But the state agency, she says, is "not in the habit of saying ‘no’ to anyone who wants to have a rock mine, once it’s approved at the county level."


"I hope other states don’t do this. We went from having a very strict land-use policy to having no policy. We don’t have any rights at all. It leaves us no say in the types of surroundings we live in, the undesirable businesses that can be put in right next to our property. … I don’t mind if you do whatever you want on your land, as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else’s life."
It can happen here.

You are only convincing me to vote yes. I should have the right to do what I want with my own property. If you don't like what I am doing with my own property and you live next to me, you can move somewhere else. It is a free country.
Yes, apparently my property rights don't matter. Only yours.
You can do what you want with your property. But if I want to subdivide my property I should be able to subdivide it. I sure don't want the government forcing me to sell it to them so they can build an abortion clinic.
fine but if your plans of what you want to do with your proprty run afoul of laws that have been passed, whether environmental, zoning, what have you, that might restrict your ability to do what you want to do, you should NOT have the right to sue for the value the property would be worth if y ou had been allowed to do with your propoerty what you'd like. That's what this initiative would allow. You want your property rights protected, what about the rights of local communities to control the level of development where they live. what about that right?
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