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Thursday, January 6, 2005

Coming soon

Interesting story on the front page of The Oregonian today about the next Beaverton.

It's called Hood River County.

God bless our property rights.

Comments (13)

I especially like the quote at the very end of the article:
"Your right to a fist ends where my nose begins."

It almost (but not quite) makes me wish I had focused on land use law instead of patents.

This article just illustrates the problem with all these folks who think they should be able to do whatever they want on their property or else be compensated. What happens on your property affects your neighbor's ability to use her property. There was a reason Oregon adopted land use planning back in the dark ages. We wanted the whole state to be liveable for the whole population. That meant and still should mean some sacrifices.

How quaint. Kind of like the Geneva Conventions, I guess.

Yeah, I just moved here and I can see I will be moving to Alaska someday. Not that there aren't the same jackasses in Alaska, but at least they are spaced farther apart.

Just love those folks who would turn down 57 million dollars in new development...and 800 new houses in a state that claims it lacks affordable housing...and force a family to keep growing pears at a loss
with government like that, you don't need Osama

How dare that family not continue growing pears at a loss!

Don't they realize that by utilizing their property for development that they will be trampling all over our collective public easement to watch them harvesting pears as we drive by?

While Lars, as usual, goes for the hyperbole, he and PanchoPDX have a point. The reason this measure passed is that a reasonable concept, protection of agricultural land, was carried to a logical extreme, no new non-farm dwellings on land that might support a farm. The State LCDC tightened up already tight rules in 1994 with some new administrative rules, which by the way received no property owner notice at the time. Cue the horror stories played so prominently by the Measure 37 proponents. A simple rule that anyone with an existing legal lot could put one house on it would have defused enough of the outrage to prevent a Measure 37 from ever being passed, but the land use purists wouldn't allow it. And now we have Measure 37 to deal with.

As for Lars' specific comments, "$57 million dollars in new development" translates into a fiscal loss for local government if that development is residential. There have been numerous, numerous studies proving that point.

But when you're Lars and think that any government expenditures other than new freeways and prison cells is a waste, I guess you have a point.

One more comment in a series - the pear orchard may not get quite to 800 homes on it. While Mr. Pear Grower may have a zoning right to quarter-acre lots, the City of Hood River is under no obligation to provide the property with public sewer or water service. Which means that the entire site will be served by septic tanks and wells - which will effectively make lot sizes at least one or two acres.

If Mr. Pear Grower's proposal has any public health and safety impacts, such as to water quality from excessive septic systems, or water supply from excessive pumping, or traffic safety from excessive traffic on little rural roads, then he doesn't get to do what he wants either. He will have to limit the number of new lots and houses commensurately.

And finally, unless Mr. Hunnicutt, Lars, and all the other Measure 37 zealots are really selfish pigs feeding off the public trough in disguise, any neighbors of Mr. Pear Grower whose property values are devalued by his actions will have the ability to sue him for his misdeeds. Oregonians in Action wants to prevent this, apparently believing in socialism for their supporters, but not others.


Property owners feeling tertiary effects will only be able to sue if the their respective counties allow for such action. Not all counties allow for 3rd party suits.

Otherwise, I agree that overzealousness caused 37 to be passed. And, should anyone really be surprised since its precursor measure 7 passed?

If you don't want to lose money growing pears (or engaging in farming at all, for that matter), don't buy an orchard (or other farm property) in a rural community.

To have a claim that overrides SB 100, this family must have owned the property for over 32 years. It isn't like they invested with no idea of how to farm pears. They could not have run it at a loss for three decades.

Times have changed since 1973. The truth is that pears are cheaper to import than to grow. Maybe the owners could eke out a small profit if we ditched Oregon's minimum wage, but progressives will never consider that.

At the end of the day, a lot more people will benefit from the proposed development (farm owners, builders, construction workers, new home purchasers, increased tax base) than the current use (urbanites who like to drive by orchards).

"Times have changed since 1973. The truth is that pears are cheaper to import than to grow. Maybe the owners could eke out a small profit if we ditched Oregon's minimum wage, but progressives will never consider that."

I grew up in the Rogue Valley, one-time pear capital of the world, or so they said. Pear production has gradually declined as a percentage of the economy, and acreage over the last decade or so has been cut 20 percent. A few years ago I saw former pear orchards paved over for residential areas, shopping areas, and senior assisted-living areas by which the Medford area has, with medical services, been reinventing a significant portion of its economic base.

A part of my soul regrets and will miss the land that nurtured it. But pears are more densely grown now. And I doubt a reduction in the minimum wage will help, as Chileans work for a day on less than Americans do an hour. Mind -- back in the day no small part of the labor was performed by migrant Mexicans. As recently as a decade ago, some of those little shanty-housing camps were still in use, as I used to see them on my bikerides over nearly every inch of that valley. (Bikerides, not camps, over all those inches or miles.)

I am actually glad that Medford has found a surer economic way to go forward than parts of the state. The ventures into medical industrial complex and senior care and living are better than half smart.

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