Oh, yeah. It's Land Use Reform Raw. I've made the call out in an AP story about Measure 37, "Democrats want voters to take another stab at Oregon land use law." The final two paragraphs:
But the prospect of an endless barrage of TV, radio and newspaper adds, pitting entrenched interest groups against each other, is frustrating for some. Brian Hines, a retired property owner in Salem said he was disappointed lawmakers couldn't come up with a solution.
"I think that's pretty chicken," Hines said of Oregon lawmakers decision to send the property rights reforms back to voters. "It will come down to a bunch of competing sound bites. The situation is a lot more complicated than that."
So let's get it on, legislators—Democrats in particular, because you hold the reins of power in the capitol. I say you're chicken.
A ballot referral is a cop-out. If you believe Measure 37 needs to be fixed, then fix the damn thing. If you believe it's OK as it is, then leave it alone.
Sending a complex 42 page bill to the voters is absurd. Person after person who testified at the Land Use Fairness Committee hearings said that Oregonians didn't know what they were getting when they voted for Measure 37.
They expected that people would be able to build a home or two on their land. They didn't expect large subdivisions on farmland. But that's what's happening.
So if Measure 37 confused the voters, how is the ballot referral going to be any different? Like I said, competing sound bites isn't how land use policy should be formed.
Here's my challenge to the legislature. I'll be listening for either a "cluck, cluck" or a braver response.
Write up a companion bill to the Measure 37 referral. It would place a hold on claims for over 10 houses until the voters have spoken. No building permits could be issued.
No bulldozers could rip up irreplaceable farm or forest land, nor groundwater limited land, nor vineyard quality land.
Then let's see how legislators vote on that bill. Let's find out who supports allowing large subdivisions to be built on farm and forest land between now and November.
Democrats in the Oregon legislature are trying to take the easy way out. They know that polls show a majority of Oregonians want Measure 37 fixed. But they're chicken to fix this mess themselves.
OK. Be at least half-chicken.
Take a stand by preventing large Measure 37 subdivisions from being built between now and the ballot referral vote.
A recent Oregonian editorial said:
Right now, Measure 37 developers are rushing for building permits to put a shovel in the ground to finalize their property rights. This takes a claim past the point of no return, past the point where legislators can actually intervene and stop development gone wild.
… Everyone would have preferred a consensus fix for Measure 37, but now there's not much time left. Now Oregon just needs a fix.
The editorial was titled "Find the guts to fix Measure 37." So far, all we've seen is gutlessness from legislators.
How about some lion roars for a change? No more clucking.