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 Monday, January 18 2021 @ 11:36 am UTC

Oregon's Property Rights Law Tackled

General NewsOn Tuesday, a voter-approved property rights law that requires governments to either pay landowners for losses caused by state land-use regulations or waive the regulation and allow development that the Oregon Supreme Court did upheld.

Measure 37, contended it threatened state and local efforts to control development. Supporters said it protected property rights and that it was only fair to compensate property owners for such losses, Measure 37, a known opponents of the 2004 law.

The measure violated the state and federal constitutions. She said it stripped the Legislature of its power, gave longtime landowners an unfair advantage and failed to give their neighbors a voice in the process, which ruling reversed a decision issued in October by Marion County Circuit Judge Mary James on Tuesday.

"None of these arguments persuasive." that is what the Supreme Court justices said on their findings.

But they don't prohibit it, either, the court said, the state and federal constitutions don't require such compensation to landowners.

The combination of local, county and state regulations has confined most new housing to already built-up areas, Measure 37 resulted from a property-rights revolt against Oregon's 1973 land-use policies that are often regarded as a model for protecting farmland and open space.

On Tuesday's ruling as a victory for property owners, the group that sponsored Measure 37 hailed. Dave Hunnicutt, executive director of Oregonians in Action, said "We hope the lawsuits end, the delaying tactics stop and that the claims can proceed. These people have waited for years to get back the use of their property."

Bob Stacey, executive director of the group, said "It is not fair to put a gravel pit next to someone's home, and that is what Measure 37 allows," and added "The government needs to find a way to pay those people who experienced a loss without sacrificing our quality of life and hurting neighbors."

Without money to compensate claimants, many counties and state agencies instead waived the development restrictions, more than 2,000 claims have been filed under the measure.

By: Dijon Wainwright

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