Thursday, December 07, 2006

Measure 37 Absurdity

What always struck me as strange about Measure 37 is that land use laws exist for a reason. We place these regulations on property in order to accomplish some goal, and Measure 37 completely rejects that. It has also placed a perverse incentive for anyone blocked from doing something to file a measure 37 claim because odds are that by the time all appeals are out, property value will have increased. It merely allows people to be manipulative, and manipulation looks like exactly what this is to me.
Gary and Kathy George have lobbed a hot potato into the Yamhill County Planning Department - a big Measure 37 claim.

The county's most prominent political family - he's a long-time state senator, she was recently elected to a second term on the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners and their son, Larry, won an Oregon Senate seat in November - wants to divide their 394 acres on Ribbon Ridge Road into 20- and 40-acre building lots. Notice of the family's plans was mailed to neighbors and other interested parties Wednesday.

The Georges want to create 12 homesites through a series of partitions over a period of six years or more. That means that the development wouldn't technically qualify as a subdivision, as that's a term with a specific meaning - dividing land into four or more lots within a single calendar year.

In the county's triggering denial letter, Planning Director Mike Brandt indicated that even if the claim were approved, the Georges might not be able to implement their plans, though.

"A successful Measure 37 claim may not allow you to eventually partition the property into 20- and/or 40-acre lots," he wrote. "State land-use laws in place in 1978 may preclude division of the property into such lot sizes."

You know you've passed something absolutely insane when even Idaho, where property rights are more important than human rights, used Oregon as a model for which to illustrate that this is a bad idea when something just like M 37 appeared on their ballot in 2006.

If you don't like the land use laws that doesnt mean you deserve to get paid, it means you should elect people who will change them. Measure 37 is one of the silliest things in existence.

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