Monday, January 08, 2007

Overhaul Measure 37 - because it is working!

There's an op-ed piece in the Oregonian today by Zoe Bradbury of "Ecotrust," which is described as an environmental advocacy group. She says it is time to "overhaul" Measure 37.

The problem? Big corporate landowners filed Measure 37 claims before the deadline so they have the option to develop their land.

Plum Creek Timber is Zoe's villian. They filed 100 claims to develop 32,000 acres at the coast. For young Zoe, that should be enough to ring "alarm bells" that prove Measure 37 needs revision. Even worse, Zoe worries, Plum Creek Timber, an "out-of-state $1.6 billion corporation, might have found another opportunity to fatten its profit margin."


It's bad enough that Measure 37 might allow to actually build homes and resorts and other recreational facilities on currently dormant land, but they might even make a profit!

In a state as hostile to wealth creation and business activity as Oregon, these are fighting words.

My question: Is Oregon so far gone that most people think developing real estate is bad? I hope not. Thankfully, 60% voted yes on Measure 37, but the land use Nazis are convinced that most of us were duped by a sympathetic Dorothy English, and we'll be up in arms if the result of Measure 37 was to enable large-scale housing and resort development.

I hope they are wrong. I'd love to see more houses at the coast. I'd love to see more world-class resorts such as Bandon Dunes open up on our beautiful coastline. I'd welcome more supply in the housing stock so that you didn't have to have a six figure income just to buy a house.

But then, I don't believe wealth creation is evil. I'm out of step.


Anonymous said...

Except what makes the Oregon coast so nice is that it is NOT developed.

Most of the American coastline is completely developed. Oregon is a gem - precisely because of the rigid land use laws!

Removing the land use laws seems good with a state population at 1 million. Or maybe even OK today with a population of 3 million. But what about when the state population reaches 5 million?

10 million?

Still want it all developed? What will be nice about Oregon then? The strip malls?

rickyragg said...

So typical of a liberal...

Removing the land use laws...

No one has advocated that.

The point, which most libs are either too obtuse or dishonest to admit is that the public should pay for land set aside or "protected" for public benefit - not individual property owners.

The reality is that 60% of the Oregonians who voted on M37 agreed.

So, if you had a case, you didn't make it well enough to the people that count. Recycled rhetoric just doesn't cut it.

MaxRedline said...

People like Zoe are absolutely convinced that most people aren't as smart as they are. They firmly believe that th million voters or so who favored Measure 37 were clueless bozos who simply were too stupid to understand what they were voting for. On the other hand, given that Democrats are now running everything in the state, she may not be far off.

If Measure 37 needs an "overhaul", then it seems clear that by her logic, people were too stupid to realize what putting Democrats in charge of everything in the state would do. If we're going to "overhaul" Measure 37, then maybe the entire last election results need a similar "overhaul".

Anonymous said...


I'm a shareholder in Plum Creek Timber, and I also am an ardent capitalist. So, I'm going to respond to you 1/8 blog from a different angle.

Explain your rationale why Plum Creek Timber should qualify for either compensation or zoning relief under Measure 37? Are you aware that PCL acquired the land in the Coastal Range from Georgia Pacific via a $4 billion acquisition of GP's USA timberland properties? The company paid less than $1000 per acre nationwide.

So Rob, please help me understand how Plum Creek experienced a loss under this scenario as a result of Oregon's land use laws?