Big Look Task Force

Update on House Bill 2229: 

As originally introduced, 1000 Friends of Oregon did not support the recommendations of the Big Look Task Force.  However, as the result of testimony from many others at public hearings, and through a bipartisan legislative effort, HB 2229 has been shaped into a proposal that we and a diverse array of others support.  The bill was voted out unanimously by the House Land Use Committee and passed by both chambers on June 17th, 2009. To view the history of the bill and read more about it click here.

The bill:

  • Creates new “overarching principles” to help the public understand the purpose of planning.
  • Clarifies how counties may revisit resource zones, using a comprehensive county-wide review.
  • Guides counties in assessing the carrying capacity of rural non-resource land (not farm or forest land) for sparse development
  • Reduces confusion in the Regional Problem Solving process.
  • Includes an audit provision to prioritize land use provisions in need of updating.

Background on the Big Look Task Force:

The Big Look Task Force was created in 2005 to evaluate Oregon’s land use planning program and to recommend improvements to meet future challenges.  The Task Force completed its work and submitted its legislative recommendations and a final report to the 2009 Legislature.

Oregon will experience many changes over the next 30 years, providing both opportunities and challenges: almost 2 million more people will call Oregon home; global warming will continue to pose an environmental and economic threat; oil prices will rise; and Oregon’s economy will be operating in an increasingly global context.  Our statewide planning program, while imperfect, has been remarkably effective in achieving its goals over the last 30 years.  We have protected farm and forestland, contained sprawl, and managed growth far better than most other states.  To turn future population growth and the challenges of climate change and globalization into opportunities, we must strengthen our land use planning program, not weaken it.

The Task Force report acknowledges that Oregon has a land use system that protects farm and forest land, contains urban sprawl, and manages growth better than anywhere else in the United States. The system can and should be improved, but it makes no sense to adopt proposals to weaken land use planning in Oregon.

Our testimony on the Big Look Task Force's initial legislative proposal in February 2009:

(part one)

Our testimony on the Big Look Task Force proposals (part two):


Recent articles about the Task Force:

Oregon's 'Big Look' task force finds need for land-use reform

Report says Oregon land-use plan is working

Time to take your own Big Look

Land-use panel will focus on local control

What land use review may have in store for us

Click here for our comments on the Big Look's preliminary recommendations

Big Look Task Force web site