Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Oregon Judge Overturns Measure 37

A story in today's Oregonian reports that a county circuit judge has ruled to overturn Oregon's voter-passed Measure 37, which was a draconian initiative essentially gutting much of the state's vaunted planning and land use controls.

Bob Stacey, Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon and challenger of the measure in the court case, was quoted in the story as "screaming 'woo-hoo' in an initial outburst of exuberance... ."

"Members of Oregonians in Action, which authored Measure 37...said they were furious. Group leaders plan to attack what they consider rigid planning rules again on 2006 ballots, director David Hunnicutt said."

"State attorneys, who must defend voter-approved initiatives, will appeal Friday's ruling. Invalidating Measure 37 raises as many questions as it answers, Gov. Ted Kulongoski said in a statement, promising to ask key officials for advice on moving forward."

"Now, with the law dismantled, more than 2,500 Measure 37 applications filed with counties, cities and state agencies appear to be invalid. ... 'This is telling everybody our vote doesn't mean squat,' Barbara Prete said Friday afternoon. 'We need new judges.'"

What fun. We could be living in Oregon!

But then, we live in Utah, where in yesterday's meeting of the Utah League of Cities and Towns Legislative Policy meeting, members were told that House Speaker Greg Curtis wants to change Utah's land use regulations to do three things: change the presumption of validity in land use actions from government to the property owner; make rezones administrative actions; and set a limit on the length of time a local government has to approve a development application.

Any takers? More to come on this soon!


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