Newberg Graphic Editorial: Reject HB 2181, 2182, 2610

In a February 16 editorial, the Newberg Graphic urges the Oregon Legislature to reject three bills that would undermine citizen access to the land use appeals process.

Arguing that the bills--HB 2181, 2182, and 2610--are "unnecessary" and "likely..would lead to an erosion of the strong land use laws this state enjoys," the Graphic expresses concern that the proposals would favor moneyed interests over ordinary citizens.

"Oregon’s land use system, despite what its detractors would have you believe, has for nearly 40 years preserved the landscape that this state is best known for," the Graphic editorial board writes. "The appeals process puts the burden on the landowner, as it should, in favor of the greater good. There’s no reason to change it and we urge the Legislature to dispense with these bills outright."

At a recent Salem hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, several land use advocates and representatives of the Oregon League of Cities, League of Women Voters, Central Oregon Landwatch, and 1000 Friends of Oregon shared similar concerns with legislators. It is unclear whether another hearing will be held, but 1000 Friends of Oregon is monitoring the situation very closely and will post any news here.

The full editorial is available here. The February 16 Graphic also has a news article on the bills and their potential impacts, by staff writer Amanda Newman, in which 1000 Friends of Oregon consultant Sid Friedman is quoted extensively. “Taken together, they erect huge barriers to citizen participation in local land use decisions ... every one of them has the effect of shutting down appeals,” he tells Newman.

Read 1000 Friends of Oregon's testimony, and learn how you can get involved in protecting citizen participation in Oregon's land use system from these threats, here.