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February 08, 2012

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I testified on the "original" bill. Quotation marks are added because I think this was a faux bill and that the committee and proponents knew what the "real" bill would look like.

It disgusted me to be held in contempt because I live within 100 miles of the Legislative Travesty otherwise known as the State Capitol.

I suspect that those on the committee have not had to experience the ill-fortune of appearing before a county commission on behalf of a matter of principle and faced a phalanx of real estate developers. I doubt they have found themselves stiffed by these same politicians who seldom rule on principle when land development is the issue. HB 4095 opens the door, not to a principled review of goals as they apply to the affected counties, but to raw political pressure.

Those of us who testified against the bill failed to adequately state the real problem with this bill. It substitutes counties and county commissions for the input of people who are concerned, not only with their local jurisdiction, but with Oregon. County commissions are not balanced in favor of citizen involvement. The bill encourages only limited public involvement and limits that involvement to the "pilot" counties.

Oregonians in Action clearly came out stating that the goal of the bill was to permit counties to define Goals Three and Four in terms that they choose. The principles of land use policy are stripped away in favor of a political process. when politics suborns principles ordinary people suffer for they lack the resources and deep pockets necessary to deal with elected officials who have agendas driven by real estate interests.

Testimony by the proponents could not hide the fact that it is real estate that profits from this bill, not the people of Oregon or the selected counties.

Richard, good points.

Rest assured that in my three page written testimony submitted to the House Judiciary Committee I focused on the danger of allowing county commissioners to make land use decisions on the basis of their political biases.

The testimony is downloadable via this previous post:
http://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2012/02/dont-base-land-use-laws-on-two-oregons-myth.html

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