October 15, 2005 at 4:46 pm (Planning, Portland)

I don’t know what’s better…Measure 37 being ruled unconstitutional or the barely-concealed rage oozing from the right wing automatons on the editorial board of The Oregonian.

A judge obliterated Oregon’s voter-approved property rights law Friday, uprooting the way the state plans its communities for the second time in a year.

Marion County Circuit Judge Mary James ruled that Measure 37 violates the Oregon Constitution by favoring longtime property owners over those who have purchased land more recently. She also said the measure prohibits the Oregon Legislature from exercising its authority.

Planning advocates — including 1000 Friends of Oregon, which led the legal challenge — celebrated Friday’s decision, calling it a victory for the state’s natural landscape. The group has argued Measure 37 allows intense development near farms, jeopardizing an important industry.

After screaming “woo-hoo!” in an initial burst of exuberance, 1000 Friends director Bob Stacey said he’ll ask Kulongoski to convene a special session of the Oregon Legislature. State leaders should replace Measure 37 with a law that compensates landowners who are truly harmed, Stacey said, but doesn’t hurt their neighbors.

Oregon has long been known for favoring the good of the community and landscape over individuals’ ability to use their property however they want.

First, she ruled the law violates the “equal privileges and immunities” provisions of Oregon’s constitution. She said the measure unreasonably grants benefits to people who bought their land before regulations were applied, but not to those who purchased property later.

Second, James said Measure 37 violates the constitution by limiting the Legislature’s ability to regulate for public welfare, health or safety. The measure requires the government to pay if it wants to enforce valid land-use regulations. In other words, it must pay to govern. “This the legislative body cannot do,” James said.

Appeals, propoganda, to follow, ad nauseum.



  1. booyah said,

    The thing that really sucks is that ALL major players (sponsor of the measure, 1000 friends of oregon, METRO, county governments, et al) had reached compromise on what they considered “a law that compensates landowners who are truly harmed, Stacey said, but doesn’t hurt their neighbors,” but not one of the spineless representatives in the legislature would introduce the bill. Pussies.

  2. JB said,

    Ok, you’re an insider, and I want you to get some info for me. Ask Dan how his agency is preoperly referred to. You say METRO, I say Metro, my GIS prof. says Portland Metro. They can’t all be right, or at least they shouldn’t be.

  3. booyah said,

    Insider or not, this took me about 3 seconds to find on the web:Section 2. Name of Regional Government. The Portland area metropolitan service district, referred to in this charter as the “Metropolitan Service District,” continues under this charter as a metropolitan service district with the name “Metro.”http://www.metro-region.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=629

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