Oregon Re-Restricts Land Use
Oregonians have voted 61% to 39% to scale back property-development rights, passing the controversial Measure 49 .
Oregon has been at the forefront of land legislation battles for decades. The state had enforced some of the strongest laws in the U.S. restricting development outside urban centers, but in 2004, voters there "passed the nation's most extensive property-rights laws," requiring government "to pay landowners if land-use regulations resulted in reduced property values.”
Since that time more than 7500 claims have been made by landowners for development—500 of those cases have advanced far enough to proceed despite passage of Measure 49 yesterday.
According to the Oregonian, “The state's populous urban counties -- primarily Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas, joined by Marion, Lane and Benton -- carried the day for Measure 49. Many rural counties in eastern and southern Oregon rejected the measure.” Conservationists and some powerful farmers funded the campaign for Measure 49. Timber companies were the biggest donors opposing the new land-use restictions.