Oregon distortions

When Measure 37 passed the ballot in Oregon a few years ago, it opened up a windfall for developers and uncertainty for neighbors as Oregon’s land use system was dismantled in favor of a free-for-all. Understandably, many who voted for the measure and thought they were simply making it possible to build a home for their children on their farmland felt bamboozled by the ensuing rush to develop. Measure 37 has resulted in over 7,700 claims potentially impacting almost 800,000 acres around the state. In just a few weeks, all eyes will be focused on Oregon once more as a ballot question goes before voters to amend their regulatory takings initiative that passed a few years ago.

Measure 49, on the ballot Nov. 6, will provide much-needed reforms to Measure 37, bringing the system in line with what voters thought they were getting in 2004. The need to protect farmlands, forests, water, and landscapes will be balanced with the rights of families to build a few homes on their property.

Measure 49 is currently polling with good support right now, but the campaign against it has ramped up, funded in no small part by timber companies and other industries that stand to benefit from the status quo. Bob Stacey and the excellent researchers and staff at 1,000 Friends of Oregon and the Yes on 49 campaign deconstructed some outlandish claims made in a recent “vote no” brochure:

CLAIM: Ollie Wilcox says in the brochure: “If Measure 49 passes we will lose all our rights not only our rights, but our children’s and grandchildren’s.”

: Measure 49 won’t take the Wilcoxes’ rights away. She has proposed a 16-home subdivision on 8 acres of rural land. Measure 49 will allow her between 1 and 3 homes, and will specifically give the same rights to her children and grandchildren—rights they don’t currently have under Measure 37.

: The Laraways say in the brochure: “If Measure 49 passes, our whole way of life — as farmers — as we know it, would be gone.”

WHAT THEY’RE NOT TELLING YOU: The Laraways have filed Measure 37 claims to build 144 housing units on their farm land: 42 houses on 10.5 acres, 70 multi-family units on another 10.5 acres, 26 houses on another 26 acres, and 6 units on another 34-acre parcel.

See more claims debunked and learn more from the Yes on 49 Campaign and 1,000 Friends of Oregon.