These are the folks who gave us Measure 37 in 2004, the confusingly-written, poorly thought-out trashing of Oregon's land use laws. OIA said that Measure 37 would let little old ladies like Dorothy English build a house or two on their land.
OIA surely knew that this time Oregonians would vote to preserve what makes our state so special. So once again Dave Hunnicutt and company resorted to lies and subterfuge in their No on 49 campaign, as documented here, here, here, and here.
The questions aren't too bad. Unfortunately, OIA didn't stop there. Because many of the answers are terrible.
Right off the bat, even before the first question, they get it wrong.
Now that Measure 49 has been approved by the voters, and Measure 37 has effectively been repealed, property owners who previously followed the rules laid out under Measure 37 will now be required to re-file their applications with either the state of Oregon or the local government.
No, they won't. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) has put up their own questions and answers about Measure 37 and Measure 49. It was written before the election, but contains "what if's" for both passage and failure of Measure 49.
Here's one of the DLCD Q & A's:
21. If Measure 49 is approved, does a claimant have to submit a new claim?
No, a claimant would not have to submit a new claim if they have already submitted one under Measure 37. If Measure 49 is approved, they would have several choices for how to proceed. They would receive a notice that describes the choices, and tells the claimant whether the state or the city will handle the claim.
• If the claimant wants approval to develop three or fewer homesites on the property, in most cases no additional information would be required to process the claim.
• If the claimant wants approval to develop more than three homesites on the property, they would need to submit an appraisal that documents how much the fair market value of the property was reduced by land use regulations. An appraisal also is required if the property is in an urban area.
That's a pretty darn clear statement from the agency responsible for implementing Measure 49, which I trust infinitely more than Oregonians in Action.
They should have made clear, though, that the second option is for those who want four to ten homesites – the upper limit under Measure 49.
So OIA is wrong about Measure 37 applications needing to be re-filed. OIA is doubly wrong when it's said (under question 6):
In fact, the language of Measure 49 makes it clear that all Measure 37 claimants are going to have to re-file with the Department, and providing [sic] new information with their application.
(I can't help but observe that the legal geniuses at OIA – in their own minds at least – claim to be capable of accurately dissecting the language of Measure 49, but can't proof-read their own document about the new law. Guys, it should be "provide" not "providing.")
Again, this statement is contradicted by the DLCD question and answer above regarding the 1-3 homesites "express lane" option, which will be taken by about half of Measure 37 claimants: "In most cases no additional information would be required to process the claim."
Under a preceding question, #16, DLCD confirms this:
If the claimant chooses the "express lane," no additional information would be required (unless there was information missing from the claim under Measure 37).
The whole Oregonians in Action "Frequently Asked Questions" reflects a cynicism about state government employees that is deeply disturbing. And insulting.
I worked for the state of Oregon for more than ten years. State employees are like workers everywhere: some are better than others. But they're certainly no worse than the men and women in the private sector.
OIA's propaganda would have us believe that there are evil-doers at the Department of Land Conservation and Development who are rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation as they prepare to screw over every Measure 37 claimant once Measure 49 goes into effect on December 6.
Well, if you're a Measure 37 claimant, here's my advice. Wait and see. Don't believe Oregonians in Action. Believe what you experience for yourself.
I'm confident that Measure 49 is going to be implemented smoothly. Sure, there will be some glitches. But that's inevitable when the mess that Measure 37 has brought us is being fixed.
Wait and see if you have to re-file your claim. Wait and see if you're asked for complex new information if you only want 1 to 3 home sites. Wait and see if it takes forever to process your chosen option under Measure 49, as OIA is claiming.
Wait and see. Most Measure 37 claimants are going to be happy with the new view Measure 49 is about to bring them.