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Sid, you write a good blog.

Measure 37 is easily the worst initiative to make its way into Oregon law since Measure 5 back in 1990, and I believe it will have equally devastating effects.

I advocated a NO vote on M37 back in November. I was shocked that it not only passed statewide but also by a wide margin in Multnomah county. I've written about it fairly frequently since, focusing primarily on the notion that property rights seem to be deeply ingrained in the American psyche.

It makes for a fascinating philosophical, as well as political, debate. I personally dismiss the idea of absolute property rights. But others apparently disagree.



Thanks for your nice comment.

There is no guarantee of absolute property rights in the Constitution. The founders understood that property boundries are simply lines that deliniate your land from mine, but at the same time what you do with your land or I with mine can have an impact on the surrounding community. Because there is no absolute guarantee, groups like 'Oregonians in Action' take their gripe to the ballot box rather than to a court of law. If they would have challenged Oregon's land use laws in court, all the way up to the Supreme Court, they would have lost because Oregon's laws are 100% constitutional.

Because the current line up in Salem lacks the leadership to take a stand on this issue, we'll probably have to take it to the ballot box ourselves.


Measure 5 and 47 along with 37 may not be perfect but a godsend to us that pay taxes and try to live under the law. Our small house would be taxed so heavily under the old formula we seriously would have to move out of the state. On an income of less than 20K are we not allowed to own our home? 37 corrects a misdeed as well, even though it does not affect us. Now I hope Eminent Domain law will be changed to thwart the privateering of confiscation by our government.

Paul Bonneau

A lot of serious hand-wringing here. Actually respecting peoples' property rights would not have as disastrous an outcome as some imagine.

Measure 37 passed because people realize the government control has gone too far.

I personally have a Measure 37 claim going. Tell me if I am one of those nasty developers. I had an old defunct dairy farm in Yamhill county, 93 acres. My neighbor had a 400-acre tree farm. I wanted to sell 40 acres to him for various reasons beneficial to him and to me. The state said "no", because there was some 80-acre minimum or other, that did not exist when I bought the property. The state stole my property rights, plain and simple, without compensating me for it. Keep in mind there was no additional house construction in all of this, my "farm" was not being farmed in any large extent (certainly not 80 acres worth) - the property was already not viable as a farm ever since California had taken over the market with its government-subsidized water and irrigation projects.

Land use planning has the premise that ordinary people are not to be trusted, and that our lives are better when directed by our "betters" in Salem. This is far from what the founders envisioned. People are better off when they are allowed to live their own lives without being controlled by others.

"Land use planning" is a warm and fuzzy euphemism for economic fascism:
It has no place in this country.


I think you may be a little too extreme. Land Use is very important. I sit on the planning commission in our little town. Without it we would have urban sprawl and the other extreme urban crush. There has to me some moderation and just compensation to those are hurt by rules passed after the fact. I saw older nice citizens cheated out of their homes in the first Urban Renewal programs in Portland. It was pure thievery by the city for fat-cat developers. See how they [ politicians] have misconstrued the " Eminent Domain" laws? My ideas may be radical; but the individual rights must be maintained.


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