Like I said earlier this month, things have been pretty quiet on the Oregon land use front since Measure 49 was passed by voters in November 2007, restoring some much-needed protections to this state's vaunted livability.
But there's been some action recently.
Closest to home, a Marion County hearings officer issued her recommendation on the Laack subdivision vested rights application. (It's a 3.2 MB file.)
Download Laack vested rights recommendation
My wife and I have been leading our neighborhood's fight against the proposed subdivision, which the county's own groundwater experts say threatens neighboring wells and nearby Spring Lake.
The vested rights "recommendation" really isn't one, since it leaves tricky legal and factual questions up to the Marion County Board of Commissioners to decide. We're hoping that the Board will have a public hearing before they make a decision.
If you agree that deciding whether to allow 43 homes (and wells) on groundwater limited farmland deserves a public hearing, let the commissioners know that you'd like this to happen. Here's a link to a page with their email addresses.
On the legislative front, bills have been introduced in both houses of the Oregon legislature that would allow more Measure 37 claimants to request 3-10 home sites under provisions of Measure 49.
The bills also would require the Department of Land Conservation and Development to deal with those requests by June 30, 2010. (The department has been criticized for taking too long to process the Measure 49 paperwork.)
It's nice to see that 1000 Friends of Oregon and Oregonians in Action, which usually are on opposite sides of the land use fence, were able to agree on these bills.
Finally, the Oregonian reported today that the Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision and required that Multnomah County pay a $1.15 million judgment to the estate of Dorothy English, the 90'ish woman who became the "poster child" for the campaign to pass Measure 37 in 2004.
I don't know much about this case. It doesn't bear on other Measure 37 claims, or Measure 49, so far as I can tell. When Multnomah County approved English's claim, apparently excessive restrictions were placed on the eight home sites she requested.