If you love Oregon, fire up your fury. Because Measure 37 is threatening to pave our state over with unregulated subdivisions. As the lead Oregonian editorial said yesterday, the true game behind Measure 37 now is evident.
It never was about letting little old ladies like Dorothy English build a home on family land that some bad bureaucrat said, “No!” to. That was just a ploy to con voters.
Timber companies supplied most of the money needed to pass the measure in 2004. Now we’re seeing why. Plum Creek Timber Company has filed a Measure 37 claim on 32,000 acres of coastal forestland. Many other similar claims are flooding in.
It’s all about greed, not striking a balance between private gain and the public good. These people don’t give a damn about Oregon. They won’t be living in the ticky-tacky developments that they want to plop down in the middle of forests and farmland. They just want to make money.
Folks in Umatilla County, not exactly a hotbed of liberalism, are fighting mad about Wyland Ranches’ scheme to convert 1,600 acres into home sites. The county commissioners have deferred approving this Measure 37 claim for as long as possible, hoping that the upcoming state legislature session will be able to fix Oregon’s land use nightmare.
Yesterday Laurel went up to Portland and took part in a 1000 Friends of Oregon press conference. She talked about how an adjacent claim threatens the groundwater supply in our Spring Lake Estates neighborhood.
People in our area are angry. They moved here expecting that either surrounding farmland would remain that way, or there would be a fair and deliberate process if someone wanted to change EFU (exclusive farm use) zoning.
Now they’re realizing that Measure 37 is neither fair nor deliberate. It’s a “make as much money as you can” free for all that pits neighbor against neighbor.
1000 Friends of Oregon says that it is time to suspend Measure 37 until the Oregon legislature is able to craft improvements to this seriously flawed law. Laurel and I agree. And so do the dozens of our neighbors who have contributed thousands of dollars to fight the subdivision whose 80 wells could turn our beautiful community lake into a dust bowl.
I took this photo today at sunset during a walk around the lake. Notice: No smokestacks. No McDonalds. No sidewalks. This is the Oregon almost everyone in this state loves, not the paved-over Oregon that Measure 37 is bringing us.
It’s time to get fired up. Pissed off. Righteously indignant. Our legislators and public officials need to hear from the people. Big corporations already have had their say through Oregonians in Action, the concrete industry’s best friend. Now the voices of those who care about Oregon need to be heard.
1000 Friends of Oregon makes it easy. Their web site tells you how to contact state and local officials and what to say. The game plan is to urge two things:
Temporarily suspend Measure 37, and development resulting from already-approved land use waivers, to allow the Legislative Assembly time to craft even-handed fairness legislation; and
Schedule hearings throughout Oregon so that citizens can voice their concerns about Measure 37 and help develop a comprehensive reform effort.
Do what you can. The bulldozers are starting to move. We’ve got to stop them. Now.