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May 08, 2007


Part of the problem as I see it, is that this State doesn't really understand what is true farmable land and what isn't. Just because decades ago some state employee drew an imaginary line around our cities and towns doesn't mean that it's really important farm land.

Currently the anti growth people are using the following to oppose development on land that can't even be tilled. "This land needs to be kept as farm land because it will be valuable for a vineyard in the future as global warming will raise the temp of this high elevation land."

Part of the problem with HB 3540 is the fact that 'they' want the loss to be shown within a year of the placement of the rule. On the property I own, the loss didn't become 'official' until 18 years later when the county BOC dissapproved my lot-of-record. Then my 'real market value' according to the tax office went from $79,780 to $7,400. When questioned I was told it's because the land couldn't be built on. (Although IF the land could have been built on the market would have brought $175,000 in a sales figure.)

The D's want to play hard ball but they haven't really got what it takes. They want to run this bill out so they can wash their hands and send it back to the public. Hard ball is playing the game and taking the credit. They should just ammend the law. The people of Oregon have already spoken their feelings, twice.

Most of us don't like what they've done. I've read your blog several times in the past few months. I can tell you're new to the war. I'm not. I've been fighting since the beginning. Before the land grab. Public hearings were and still are a joke. It doesn't matter what's said unless you parrot the feelings the state. The only difference now is that the dirty laundry is being washed in public.

So, welcome to the fray. Too bad you're on the wrong side. Once they move into your backyard or your acreage, I can guarantee you'll change sides.

Debbie, I sympathize with your situation. Hope you'll also sympathize with ours--and our neighbors.

If you've read far enough back in this blog's "Measure 37" category, you'll see that we live close by a 217 acre proposed M. 37 subdivision.

We and several dozen neighbors are well over $20,000 into fighting this subdivision, which would be sited on groundwater limited farmland.

So far from changing sides, this "move into our backyard" has shown us that Measure 37 needs to be fixed, and soon.

The claimant doesn't care that groundwater is limited. He doesn't care that hydrogeologists have shown that his 43 homes/wells would threaten existing wells and a nearby lake that's fed by springs coming from his land.

What he cares about is making money. Read this letter that was in the Salem newspaper today. This is why Measure 37 is such a disaster. It pits neighbor against neighbor and creates a privileged class of property owner.

Becky, a couple of comments.

Sadly, as it regards global warming: premier grapes which once thrived at lower elevations, now have to be grown either higher, or further north. It may not affect the industry, but I fear it affects the variety.

I am not a tax person, but I do wonder if you were being ripped off by the County on your property evaluations. If suddenly, after you sought to exercise a development option, the County drops the property value, equitably that value should have applied to prior years. As you describe it, it seems like the County wanted it both ways until you pushed the issue. That does not seem to be a land use issue.

"Part of the problem as I see it, is that this State doesn't really understand what is true farmable land and what isn't. Just because decades ago some state employee drew an imaginary line around our cities and towns doesn't mean that it's really important farm land.

Having been around then, having observed the dynamics, I can't accept that those zoning lines were the product of some state employee. Subsequent rule-making is a different issue altogether. I've listened to farmers tell me that there is only a 90 day growing season, when I grow nine months of the year. I hear farmers, ranchers, and vintners argue that low value farmland is profitable for them. I am troubled by the Legislature trying to define the term.

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