“The Most Important Guarantee of Freedom”

By Ted Abram
Executive Director
The American Institute for Full Employment

For nearly four decades, Oregon voters, legislators and courts have promulgated and defined what powers property owners have with respect to holding and using private land. In recent years, Measure 37, Measure 7, Senate Bill 100, lawsuits, Supreme Court decisions, and political campaigns and power plays have dominated Oregon politics. This November, Oregonians once again will vote on property rights by means of Measure 49.

Unfortunately, courts, legislators and many voters rarely seem to appreciate the relationship of private property to freedom and civilization. With roots as far back as the thought of Plato and Aristotle, discussions of property rights (including the ownership of land) and the rule of law have been at the basis of Western Civilization. Laws affecting a person’s right to have and control private property have had enormous personal and economic repercussions.

Since John Locke and Adam Smith, economic and political thinkers have proposed that political jurisdictions that protect people and their property prosper economically. Jefferson, Madison, Adams and the other American Founders were strongly influenced by Locke’s statement: “Government has no other end than the preservation of property.” The protection of people and their property was the overarching concern behind the Declaration of Independence. The right to property was eventually codified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Throughout history there has also been strong opposition to private property, with Plato being most influential. In the 19th century Karl Marx espoused the abolishment of private property, and the socialist and communist countries inspired by him abolished or severely restricted private ownership and use of property.

For most of the 20th century the United States and the Soviet Union were juxtaposed as to property rights. Generally, America protected private property; the U.S.S.R. abolished it. Attempting a third way, Western Europe restricted the use of private property, particularly by taxing wages and creating welfare states. Only a few intellectuals appreciated the fact that taxing income diminished a person’s property rights. The intellectual elites and the politicians of the Western World advocated for the European “third way,” and America incrementally followed Western Europe.

During the 20th century, many political thinkers and economists began to dismiss the Founders’ philosophy as antiquated. Lost were the thoughts of John Adams: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is no force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”

The 20th century was dominated by the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States and Western Europe. The great bulk of academic and political thought favored central economic and social planning. Politicians and academics mostly debated the optimal mix of taxes and government programs. Very few people in government or academia emphasized the benefits of private property.

Fortunately, a small group of intellectuals appreciated the importance of property and freedom. Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek feared the worldwide political and intellectual movement to socialism: “What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.” In 1947 Hayek invited thirty-six people to a meeting at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland to discuss freedom and the benefits of private property. Hayek and his associates were a tiny minority against a worldwide rush to centrally planned economies.

A solitary American champion of property rights was Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman, who said: “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.”

At the end of the 20th century, the Soviet Empire collapsed and Western Europe stagnated. The American economic system, with diminished property rights but with the best protection of property in the world, prevailed over the communist and socialist systems of Western Europe. The intellectual and political world noticed, and there has been a renewed appreciation of private property and its relationship to freedom, peace and security. Private property promotes peace and security because property owners recognize that a coercive force (individuals, corporations or governments) against any person and their property can also be used against them. Private property owners naturally strive for peace and security, protecting their own and their neighbors’ property.

In the grand scheme of Western Civilization, it is obvious that knowing and appreciating the benefits of private property is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, Oregon’s legislature and governor seem to value power over reason. Using their political power, they did not invite or participate in a free and open debate. Instead, in the hectic closing days of the 2007 legislative session they rammed through a referendum and concocted a misleading ballot title, circumventing the normal ballot title process.

It is important is to have an open and honest discussion of private property rights, including all citizens willing to participate. Unfortunately, the voters of Oregon were denied an open debate and now will be bombarded with demagoguery. Oregonians deserve better.

Ted Abram is Executive Director of The American Institute for Full Employment.

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  • Dean Apostol

    Interesting historical summary that leaves a few critical bits out. “Property rights” have never been viewed as absolute. Our property laws derive from England, where historically land was held “in common,” and various people had different land rights (to the same ground) depending on their societal position. Peasants had rights to farm and gather various materials on estates that were “owned” by noblemen under grants from the King. No one other than the King had any absolute rights to do whatever they wanted.

    Fast forward to the United States. Our land tenure system is based on “freehold,” meaning one owns title and has rights of use, including rights to buy and sell land. But as John Locke pointed out, private property rights are of no value unless they are secured by the state. One’s property needs to be protected from one’s neighbors. “Nusance” and “tresspass” are two important legal developments that led to zoning and building restrictions.

    If one property owner builds a 20 story building that casts shade on his neighbor, that matters. And if one property owner builds a subdivision next to a commercial farm, that also matters. State and local governments have a responsibility and the legal right to protect us from each others actions that might harm us.

    Oregon’s land use system is unique in that it was the first in the U.S. to divide lands into urban and rural uses. Yes, this system (in place since 1973) makes some land more valuable than other land. But so does a host of other factors, some that are “natural” (slope, soils, wetness) and some social (nearness to major roads, regulations on use).

    It is ridiculous to argue that “Oregon’s Governor and legislature value power over reason.” After all, they crafted Measure 49 and have now asked the citizens to vote on it, so in effect they have acknowledged our power, the citizens, to make this decision.

    The question is not “freedom” versus “socialism.” It is how much freedom versus how much socialism. We have both, and we are always going to be be recalculating tha balance.

    “Demagogery” is what helped pass Measure 37. The full impacts were never discussed or debated. The ballot measure was drafted by unelected advocates backed by powerful and wealthy timber companies. What is good for the goose is good for the gander my friends.

  • Steve Plunk

    Well put Dean Apostol. I differ on a number of points but it’s nice to see a well reasoned argument.

    One benefit of private property and more importantly secure private property is the economic growth it allows. Whether we look at the history of this country or look at countries where those rights are not secure we can see a preponderance of evidence pointing to that necessity for growth.

    Increasing regulation through land use laws has diminished the value of many Oregonians private property without compensation for that injury. Just as a 20 story building may diminish the value of one’s property zoning can diminish another’s. So the government can cause injury as well as other citizens but the government insulates itself from responsibility.

    The government can also be used as a tool for some to enrich themselves through it’s power. Zoning changes not only hurt some but power players can abuse the system to increase the value of their own property while doing the public no service.

    Measure 37 was essentially passed twice by Oregon voters so it is appropriate to call Measure 49 an exercise of power over reason. Muddying the waters and confusing the intent of this measure also exposes this to be a power play. Why send this issue back for a third vote unless you just don’t agree with the two previous votes?

    Measure 37 has not resulted in Oregon’s way of life being violated as many said it would. The results are reasonable and in my opinion far short of giving back all of the rights that deserve to be given back.

    Measure 37 corrects the injustice of partial takings. I believe Oregonians understand that and understand compensation for partial takings is the fair thing to do. If the constitution guarantees compensation for full takings why not compensation for partial takings?

    • dean apostol

      Steve,
      I think this is the debate Oregonians ought to be having.

      First, if the damages from the 20 story building are only to one neighboring property owner, then why should the government get involved? Let them fight it out in court. But we elect governements to make decisions in the interest of the greater good, so the presumption is that limiting building heights is serving a larger purpose, not just protecting one property owner.

      Oregon’s land use system, which established protections for farmers from incompatable neighboring uses (mainly subdivisions,) was done for the greater good. The goal was and still is to conserve the economic, aesthetic, and environmental benefits of rural lands. The pre-existing rights that exlusive farm and forest use zoning took back (I say “took back,” because the initial land rights were granted by the government in the first place through the donation claims, homestead act, and other government actions that gave title to the land in the first place,) were for the most part not worth much economically at that time. In 1973, an acre of farm land was worth a few thousand dollars. An acre of land for a subdivision was worth maybe $5000, and most rural areas were too far from urban centers to develop housing in any case.

      Fast forward to 2007. Because of population growth that arguably is in large part due to the high quality of life we have in Oregon because of good land use planning (among other things,) land for subdivisions is now fetching $100K per acre and up, while land for farming is around $10K. So based on M37, it looks like the “government” took away a huge potential profit through an action in 1973, but this is very misleading. It is like saying that if I bought a stock in 1973, and then the government passed some law that made that industry less profitable (say tobacco,) then they owe me for the profits I might have made 30 years later if they had not passed that law! That is ridiculous isn’t it? Where would it end?

      As you point out, the constitution has no provision regarding “regulatory takings.” As long as a property owner is left with some reasonable use of their land, the taxpayer is not on the hook, until now that is.

      You say that since Measure 37 “passed twice,” that whould be the end of it. But let’s remember that after Oregon’s land use system was put into place, there were (if I remember right) 6 attempts at recall, and every one was overwhelmingly defeated. That did not prevent property rights advocates from recasting the issue and eventually being able to pass M 37.

      Clearly, the issue is not yet settled politically. Measure 49 is a modification of 37 to mitigate the worse effects (large developments in rural areas). While these effects have not yet been manifested on the ground, there is no reason to think they won’t be over time. Why else would one file a claim unless one intended to act on it?

      If Oregonians believe this is a reasonable compromise, they will vote for it. If not they won’t and we are back to the status quo ante. I think it is going to be a close vote, and I hope the issues are debated rationally, but we both know better Steve.

  • Ted Kennedy’s Liver

    “if I bought a stock in 1973, and then the government passed some law that made that industry less profitable (say tobacco,) then they owe me for the profits I might have made 30 years later if they had not passed that law! That is ridiculous isn’t it?”

    Your analogy (frequently used by M49 opponents and M37 opponents before them) is flawed.

    The right to compensation for takings of land is in the US constitution, the right to profit from stock is not. Weasel politicians, aided by an activist judiciary, have skirted the constitution by arguing that taking 99% of the value of one’s land is not a taking because they have not taken 100%. Measure 37 provided redress for wronged property owners, M47 guts M37.

    If the government wants to restrict how a piece of land is used, they can buy it, provided the seller is willing. Metro has provided an example of how this can be done with their greenspaces program.

    M47 is about greedy, self-serving people getting something for nothing at the expense of others. Overreaching government and fascist environmental groups who want to effectively take people’s land without compensation and greedy farmers who don’t want to lose cheap leases on their neighbors land.

  • Ted Kennedy’s Liver

    Oops…I referred to M49 as M47 in the above post.

  • Ted Kennedy’s Liver

    BTW Dean, your book “Restoring the Pacific Northwest” is excellent, but at $50 for a paperback it will never reach the market it deserves. Any plans for a $20 rewrite?

    • Dean Apostol

      Ted,

      Thanks for the book compliment. The publisher (Island Press) sets the price, and I get a tiny percentage of that. Maybe someday they will do a smaller version that is cheaper.

  • Jim Labbe

    Ted Abram wrote: “Jefferson, Madison, Adams and the other American Founders were strongly influenced by Locke’s statement: ‘Government has no other end than the preservation of property.’ The protection of people and their property was the overarching concern behind the Declaration of Independence.”

    This paints a partial picture at best.

    It was the belief that human rights of life and liberty were more valuable than the rights of property that probably led Jefferson to reject the word “property” in the preamble to the Declaration of independence and instead speak of the inalienable right to “the pursuit of happiness.” This is supported by the fact that later, during the early stages of the French Revolution, Jefferson similarly edited a draft of the Declaration of the Rights of Man where he struck out the word “property” and put in its place “the power to dispose of his person and the fruits of his industry, and all his faculties.” As evident in his other writing, Jefferson did so because he knew the accumulation of property and associated inequality threatened human freedom.

    Mr. Abram’s essay paints a compelling story that asserts inextricable link between freedom and the institution of private property in “western civilization” and among American Founders. He feeds the notion that alternative views about freedom and property rights are contrary or alien to the foundational thought of the United States. At the extreme, those who prescribe to this view of history, see any curtailment of property rights as some insidious modern plot to steal freedom from the intent of the framers of the Constitution.

    While making for a compelling and dramatic story, none of this is historically accurate. “Western Civilization” is not culturally monolithic and neither was the thinking of the Locke or drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Many questions about the link between freedom and private property were contested including the notion of property in human slaves. As a society we came to recognize that this was an extension of property rights that directly attacked human freedom.

    Locke’s notion of property can hardly be equated with modern notions of property, but there are at least three dissenting arguments in his Second Treatise of Government against the idea that unlimited or absolute private property rights serve as a basis for human freedom. First Locke evokes the ancient concept that the earth was given by god, its ultimate owner, to mankind in common. Second Locke initially argues that the natural right to property is to the land and material wealth an individual can accumulate with his own labor from the God-given commonwealth (since women were not viewed at human at the time, they would have to wait over 250 years before they could secure their natural rights to property). Finally Locke’s suggests that inheritance of private property is as rightfully subjected to social regulation as the inheritance of political power. These arguments expose the contradictions in his thoughts about property and freedom that persisted in cultural, intellectual, legal history of the United States.

    Locke influenced a distinct cultural and legal tradition within Western culture and in the United States that argues a free and just society is based firstly on moral conscience and rights individuals to the fruits of their labor, not on the institution of private property. Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, and other members of America’s revolutionary generation recognized that freedom of conscience and associated human rights can either be secured or be threatened by institution of private property. Paine and Jefferson in particular understood that the accumulation of private property and resulting inequality threatened basic human freedom especially when the rights to property were taken to the extreme of unlimited use and accumulation.

    I and other Oregonians believe these extreme notions are embodied in Measure 37’s standard of fairness that says any regulation of property beyond the narrowest purposes of public health and safety is a violation of property rights. Since land is a finite resource that is subject to increasing pressure due to population growth and increasing per-capita consumption of natural resources, we believe everyone has some stake in how an individual landowner uses or abuses his or her land. Measure 37’s standard of fairness that almost eliminates legitimate role of government in a democratic society to define the proper balance between private land ownership and use on one hand and the common right to and ownership of a healthy environment on the other.

    We should and certainly will continue to debate the role of democratic government in finding this balance. But the important point here is that those that argue for Measure 37 or against Measure 49 have no higher claim to our cultural and intellectual history in the United States than the rest of us. Right up to the present debate about Measure 37 and Measure 49, Americans have long-debated freedom and the role of the institution of “private property” in advancing or undermining that freedom. Indeed the fact that we are still having this debate- not that we take any particular side in this debate- that is testimony to our identity as United States citizens.

  • DarePDX

    Just to point out.

    The US differs from England and the historical example shown above in one major way. We never were ruled by devine right but instead the people of the states delegated their authority to the states which then cosented to the Federalist system.

    Under this historical difference it is a reserved right of the people of Oregon to redefine property rights how ever the choose. This is the historical truth for Oregon which was never a British Colony.

    Under both the US and State Constitutions we limit powers of government around our rights. Government shall make no law etc…..

    M37 required government to have a reason to regulate our land in a manner that deprives us of value. Oregon has a history of getting smacked down by the Supreme Court for failiing to provide adequate due process when it came to landuse. Given this history M37 is reasonable. Instead of fighting for M49 the 1000 Friends of Oregon should have been reforming our landuse system to actually suceed.

    With M49 they are proving they care less about greenspaces and groundwater and more about just holding power. THe power to hassle landowners, stop developments, or slow projects.

    That is the real basis of M49. It guts M37’s requirement that government have a basis in health, safety, or environmental protection for its land use laws.

  • Charlie

    Jim and Dean,

    I have been following the M49 discussion on this blog and find your contributions terribly misrepresenting of both M37 and M49.
    Quite frankly Dean it is astoundingly hypocritical that you would also claim that “”Demagoguery” is what helped pass Measure 37″.
    I voted against M37 after being bombarded with all sorts of “demagoguery” from our 1000 Friends and rest of the large M37 opposition.
    Although the anti-M37 campaign appeared never to end I am now witnessing a fresh supply of the same misrepresentation I fell for prior to my vote against M37.
    It is truly revisionist history to say that “The full impacts [from M37]were never discussed or debated”. Excuse me Dean but the discussion and debate on the effects were enormous. And as I have said I bought it and voted against M37
    The ballot measure was passed by voters who had the benefit of extensive campaigns by both sides. Is there no end to YOUR “demagoguery”?
    While failing to specify or detail any scenarios that rigger your predictions you and Jim wander all over the place with irrelevancies inaccuracies.
    Because of land use planning constraining land supplies land for subdivisions is now fetching $400-$500K per acre.
    The bulk of your opposition to M37 comes from a completely wrongheaded view, or deliberate pretense, that M37 repeals ALL of
    Oregon’s land use system, removes ALL designations of lands for urban and rural uses, and removes ALL regulatory guidance for ALL “natural” and “social” uses.
    You could not be any more exaggerating and disingenuous.
    As I have discovered (and is echoed by David Reinhard in today’s O)M37 does no such things and M49 is an attack on the real world fairness of M37.
    Despite the falsehoods you are spreading, Jim and Dean, M37 in NO WAY remove ALL interests in how an “individual landowner uses or abuses his or her land.” I can imagine no other reason for you to be making cush claims other than it is your intention to help pass M49 by misleading voters. In reality, many or rather most protections would remain for M37 development just as they do now for nonM37 development. The examples are nearly countless but requirements for building on slopes in an easy one. Portland for instance prohibits construction on slopes during the winter months. That in addition to many other controls. All of which would apply to any and all M37 claims, such as Dorothy English.
    Yet you are clearly wanting people to wrongly believe otherwise. That my friends is dishonest.
    Measure 37 does NOT and COULD NOT “almost eliminate the legitimate role of government.
    It only curbs the most extreme and illegitimate role on very few parcels leaving everything else intact.
    I’ll stick with this thread in hopes of getting any description of any scenario in which ANY sweeping abolition of the government’s role in land use could result from Measure 37. Or any description of how any valley or county could be paved over by M37. Those notions are pure propaganda that no one should fall for.
    It just isn’t the truth.

    • Dean Apostol

      Charlie,

      I had to go back and re-read my comment to see if I said anywhere that M37 removed ALL regulatory guidance…

      I did not find that I ever said that. I simply stated that property rights have to be viewed in context. To me, M37 focused on one issue, economic development rights, and all but ignored everything else, including potential impacts to neighbors of claims.

      My recollection of the time when 37 was on the ballot is that it was a very contentious presidential election, and that there was not much media focus on the details of 37. I used the term “demagoguery” to highlight the way Dorothy English and other small landowners with relatively modest claims were used by the larger financial interests to put their cause forward in a dishonest manner. There is no question this campaign helped pass M37, so I stand by that description.

      I don’t recall any discussion that over 20% of the Hood River Valley would be under 37 claims. I don’t recall any estimate of how many claims might be filed, or how many acres would be affected. Maybe I missed something.

      Charlie, we now know what M37 claims amount to. 7500 claims that cover 750,000 acres according to PSU. Most of these claims are relatively modest (less than 10 homes), but others include quaries, billboards, commercial, and large scale residential projects. M49 (if it passes) will allow many of the smaller claims to go forward, yet it stops the large claims. That is what we should be debating at this point. Is 49 a reasonable compromise or not? I think it is.

      • Pete Fotheringham

        Dean Apostol’s claim that ‘over 20% of the Hood River Valley would be under 37 claims’ is quite a stretch, when you consider that aproximately 75% of Hood River County is owned by government (federal, state or county). I assume that he means 20% of private land in Hood River, but since only 25% of the land is private, that comes out to 5% of the total Hood River Valley under measure 37 claims – which gives a much different picture.

        Charlie is correct that many of these claims are no more than placeholder claims filed under legal advice. And the ones that do intend to develop their claims are still subject to laws regarding water, sewage, health and safety issues, which will prevent the Hood River Valley from being completely paved over with subdivisions as Dean’s post implies.

  • Charlie

    Dean,
    With all due respect I hardly needed you to repeat yourself so let’s try again.
    Of course you didn’t actually say “M37 removed ALL regulatory guidance”. But, like others who are misrepresenting M37, you certainly are inferring and suggesting M37 is a sweeping away of land use planning, zoning and protections. And of course that is false from evey angle or context.

    Your characterization of M37 as “focused on one issue, economic development rights, and all but ignored everything else, including potential impacts to neighbors of claims” is simply more demagoguery.
    “all but ignored everything else” ?

    Clearly that is not true at all. Quite the contrary. As with all development today, M37 development is subject to approval and compliance with all sorts of minor partition, subdividing and building permit requirements. From storm water retention to building on slopes virtually every existing regulation, with little exception, will apply to M37 development.
    It is you who are ignoring this reality.
    You don’t recollect very accurately. The M37 campaigns were very contentious with 1000 Friends and every newspaper demagoging everything they could dream up. The pig farms, smelters and subdivisions paving over the State chorus was loud and steady.

    You are further off base in your mischaracterizing Dorothy English and other small landowners with relatively modest claims as being “used by the larger financial interests”. Doing so is dishonest on your part.
    Of course that campaign helped pass M37, and the resulting 1000s of modest claims validates the genuineness of that campaign.
    You’re either oblivious to or are distorting what the makeup of the 7500 claims is choosing to focus on and embellish the most significant claims. Many of which are no more than placeholder claims filed under legal advice. I have studied this issue very closely and find your brand of misrepresenting to be increasingly reprehensible.
    There’s meaning underneath rhetoric like “over 20% of the Hood River Valley is under 37 claims”. You appear to want people to believe 20% of Hood River Valley be lost to pavement? When in reality that 20% includes many completely harmless claims and other with minimal footprints on large parcels.
    The anti-M37 campaign spewed all sorts of what I see now as propaganda. Such as “M37 will cost the State$5 Billion dollars” and other inflammatory misrepresentations.
    With you only looking at the numbers of claims filed and how many acres you are indeed missing something. The narrow view of the percentage of a valley or a county subject to M37 is not a clear view.
    There are many parcels of 5, 10 or 20 acres that represent the intent to build a single house. A single house. Yet M37 opponents like yourself sweep all those acres into the paved over and lost forever category while alarming voters to the imminent demise of our State if M49 fails.
    You just can’t play it straight and that is too bad for Oregon and Oregon Voters.
    You are indeed missing something. Honesty.

    “7500 claims that cover 750,000 acres” is a convenient compilation minus the not so clarified real world loss of acreage to construction.
    Why do you suppose not PSU or any other M37 opponents has compiled a tally of M37 acreage actually lost to construction?
    It’s because they are the demagogues and know full well they can play off those grand totals and paint a picture of losses far greater than M37 as the ability to cause.
    Most of these claims are of course relatively modest but that message is lost your campaign.
    The others including quarries, billboards, commercial, and large scale residential projects are but a tiny fraction of other routine development happening around the State on regular basis. The way the Yes on M49 campaign tells it none of those kinds of developments surfaced intill M37 came about. More falsehoods.
    M49 undermines nearly every existing M37 claim. Prohibits it, reverses it, makes it start over and/or subjects it to challenges and endless delays from anyone in the State. How you can paint a pretty picture over that is beyond me.
    I have many friends who are echoing some your banter and it’s most troubling.
    M49 is no where near anything resembling a “compromise”. Had it been a compromise those M37 opponents controlling the legislature, who were hell bent reversing M37, never would have ushered it to a balot.
    This discussion is resembling many others where M37 opponents never offer any scenarios or explanations of how M37 is capable of paving over anything. It’s all about wild generalities creating hysteria over disastrous outcomes which can’t happen from an unstopped M37.

  • Bill Sizemore

    It might have been possible for Measure 49 to have been a compromise in this debate. It might have settled the issue for the time being. But that is entirely impossible due to the way the measure has been presented to voters.

    If the official ballot title for Measure 49 had ben drafted honestly and been reviewed by the courts for accuracy and freedom from bias, then it might have settled something. As it stands, the measure is a blatant attempt to deceive or trick voters into voting for a law that does the opposite of what the majority of them want. I know. I have seen the polls.

    Land use laws are the religion of the left. Controlling the use of private property is more important to them than any other issue, possibly save abortion, and they have proven by their response to Measures 7 and 37 that they will do whatever is necessary to control the use of private property.

    Measure 49 will likely pass, but it will only prove that the voters can be manipulated by dishonest politicians. Instead of being settled, the battle over this issue will now escalate. Had the governor and the Democrats in the legislature played the game straight, Measure 49 might have told us something about what the people of Oregon want. But by allowing the opponents of property rights to write a deceptive ballot title, they have only insured that nothing will be settled and that fight will continue.

    From the legally absurd decision that nullified Measure 7 to the deceptive ballot title for Measure 49, the opponents of private property rights have made it clear that when it comes to this issue, they will do whatever it takes to win, whether that is writing politically motivated legal opinions or intentionally deceiving the people of Oregon by printing misleading language on their official ballots.

  • Charlie

    It’s one thing for politicians to do this and I think both sides of the isle engage in this level of “dedication” to winning from time to time.
    BUT, it’s quite another to have your friends and other “regular people” engage in deliberate misrepresentations to order to win.
    In the case of M37/M49 I read more of it every day in the newspapers. The Yes on M49 news stories, editorials, opinion pieces and Yes on M49 letters to the editor are a very troubling display of outright misinformation. There seems to be no limits. What is going on in this State?
    I ask one more time for Jim, Dean or any other Yes on M49 advocate to explain or justify any of their most egregious distortions.

    • dean apostol

      Charlie,

      i’m not active in the pro 49 campaign, other than having some lawn signs up. So I’m probably not the right person to ask to justify all the rhetoric. But I’ll take on a few points.

      First, let’s both admit that in a political campaign, truth is always a casualty. Both sides are engaged in at best selective truth telling or fact citing in order to shape the debate their way. It is always up to us voters to look past the campaign materials and dig deeper before we make up our minds.

      On the pro 49 side, if there is any deception it is probably over the likelihood of very many of the 4-10 unit housing claims from ever being realized. But they have been straightforward that all larger claims, and non-residential claims, and claims within urban growth boundaries will be thrown out. And I believe they are sincere about the “express lane” for the small claims (1-3 home sites).

      The objection you and other opponents are making is the fear mongoring about “paving over” parts of Oregon. I agree that the pro 49ers tend to over state this to make their case. But since much of the case is to get rid of the larger claims that, if realized will pave over a lot of land and cause a lot of problems in specifc areas, I think we should forgive them this point.

      For example, look at Hood River. It is true that most of the county is federally owned. As a former landscape architect for Mt Hood National Forest, I know that area well. The federal lands are high elevation, forested, and not subject to being developed. But the fertile valley is where the opportunities are, and it is true that 20% or more of the valley is now under M37 claims. A few of these are quite substantial, and if built could jeoporadize neighboring farms and change the character of the valley. This is not mere rhetoric.

      As for the anti-49 campaign, when you go to their web site the first thing you see is that “Measure 49 will allow the government to take your property.” Now this is pure B.S. There is NOTHING in 49 that allows property siezure beyond what existing law already allows. They deliberately conflate regulation that limits land development with “takings.” Wouldn’t you agree they are being dishonest here?

      Additionally, they say (over and again) that M49 REPEALS M37. Yet it doesn’t. The legislature could have repealed it. The courts could have ruled in favor of the anti-49 campaign that the ballot measure is misleading because it is a repeal. But they did not. So factually they are wrong, yet they continue to repeat a lie as if it were truth. Why? Because they know that if voters think it is a full on repeal they will vote against it. if voters see it as a reasonable modification they will vote for it.

      So is this debate about “paving over Oregon” versus “government seiziing my land”? Or is it about reasonableness with respect to government’s ability to regulate land use? For me it is the latter. I’ve come to the conclusion that M49 is reasonable. I thought land use planning advocates overreached when the $80,000 farm income rule was put in, and I think M37 passed in large part due to this overreach. M49 goe a long way towards rectifying this error. M37, in my opinion, swung the balance too far in the other direction.

      As for the M37 ballot title Mr Sizemore, let’s recall that it read that GOVERNMENTS must pay….it did not say TAXAYERS must pay. If it had put the hand of the private landowner in the taxpayer wallet and had identified the tax to pay for it, I suspect even you might have voted against it.

      And Charlie, I stand by the larger interests having used Dorothy English, although clearly she used them (and their money) as well. It was large timber companies who provided the funds to pass 37, and it is they who are funding the anti-49 opposition. Why are they doing this? Most do not have land that is very developable. They are doing it to forstall additional stream riparian buffers. California and Washington have much more stringent stream protection standards in place than Oregon does, and they saw what was in store for them. But I doubt we will see timber company owners who want to preserve their right to pollute public streams as the poster boys for the anti-49 campaign.

      Getting past all the rhetoric, claims, and counter claims: what do we want for Oregon’s future? For our kids and grandkids? What is the right balance between government regulation of land and private property rights? I think M49, while imperfect, draws the line in about the right place. We can respectfully disagree, but lets not call each other names okay?

  • Charlie

    Dean,
    You’re hopeless and perpetually demagoging.
    You approach to the rhetoric is to just repeat it.

    It will be nearly impossible for voters to look past the massive misinformation blitz which you are a part of.

    Your lame attempt at putting lipstick on the pro 49 side’s campaign is demonstrative of the narrow mindedness I see in some of my friends. The deception is extensive yet you not only ignore the bulk of it but cherry pick and reduce small pieces of more rhetoric.
    The pro M49 side has not been straight forward about anything.
    They have been so dishonest as to use tightly packed planner’s subdivisions as evidence of M37 doom.
    The objections I have are far more than just the “paving over” parts of Oregon. But you don’t even give that real consideration and repeat it with “will pave over a lot of land and cause a lot of problems in specifc areas”.
    That’s not even what the yes on M49 side is out there saying.
    They are saying the M37 willfillup the Willamette Valley and pave over the wine country, or pave over 20% of the Hood River Valley.
    “forgive them this point”?
    Not hardly, they are blatantly lying to the extreme. As you are.
    As I have said over and over again and you continue to ignore any tally of M37 land does not equate to all of that land being lost.
    There may be 20% of the valley now under M37 claims but that doesn’t mean 20% of the Valley will be lost.
    Only a few of the claims are what you call “quite substantial” and none of them, being on much bigger lots, are anything like the messes from current planners.
    Another lie is the notion that “if built could jeoporadize neighboring farms”. That is such BS. Farms are fully functioning right next to the worst subdivisons the establishment planners have spawned and not a one of the anti-M37 liars ever says a word about it.
    “and change the character of the valley”
    Now that’s touching. There’s not enough M37 claims that willbe approved to change much of anything.

    As for the anti-49 campaign, when you go to their web site the first thing you see is that “Measure 49 will allow the government to take your property.”
    Reversing a M37 claim and prohibiting the new use is a takings. Pure and simple. But I notice you spin the charge of “take” into
    property “siezure” to make it easier for you to call it BS.
    That is distortion and dishonest. No one in the antiM49 campaign claims the state will use “seizure”. Nice lie Dean.

    The notion of takings by limitng use has been fully discussed and there is nothing cloudy or deceptive about it.
    You on the other hand are deliberately misrepresenting what the M49 opposition is saying.

    Then you AGAIN repeat the same charge I addresed earlier about “M49 REPEALS M37”.
    I’m getting real sick of your side hiding, dodging and weaving around in circles.

    Your recurring charge that M49 does NOT repeal M37 is just so much bull.
    NOT ONCE have I seen anyone suggest M49 literally “repeals” M37 but it certainly reverses or undermines enough of M37 that it is not a lie to use the word “repeal”.
    Much of M37 will be essentially repealed by M49.
    That is the intent of the legislature.
    Anything less than a virtual repeal would not have been put up for a vote.
    Farming isn’t going anywhere because of M37, no valley will be filled up and M37 doesn’t override all zoning and building regulations.
    That is however, the picture you and yours paints.
    David Reinhard covered it well last week. If you think this is either fair or what you and the Yes on M49 people are telling voters you are indeed hopeless.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/david_reinhard/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1191894942188570.xml&coll=7&thispage=1

    David Reinhard covered it well last week.
    MEASURE 49
    Sunday, October 07, 2007
    David Reinhard
    What if Measure 49 passes? ill it secure real property rights in Oregon? Will it protect landowners from the government reducing their property’s value through land-use use restrictions that were not in place when they bought the property? Will Measure 49 address the concerns of people like Dorothy English who helped pass real property-rights protections in 2004’s Measure 37?

    After all, Measure 49 backers say they’re all for property rights. They say Oregonians didn’t know what they voted for twice. Voters thought they were voting to protect small-property owners. You know, like English, the little old lady from Portland who wasn’t able to build on land that she and her husband bought in 1953 because of later government rules. But Measure 37 went beyond this. Measure 49, they claim, fixes the grievances of small landowners — it sets up an “express” lane for them to build three homes on their land and allows up to 10 dwellings overall — and addresses Measure 37’s excesses and ambiguities.

    But does Measure 49 do this? Its supporters say it does, but does the actual language of the measure?

    Say you bought a little spread, and you want to build your dream home or maybe subdivide it so the kids can live nearby, or you can pay for their college or your retirement. The government passed land-use rules after you bought the land. Now you can’t do what you had every right to expect you could when you bought, and your property is worth less as a result. Measure 37 remedied this. Isn’t Measure 49’s three-home express lane or four-to-10 dwelling allowance any Oregonian’s ticket to Rainbow City? In fact, Measure 49’s explanatory statement — which the Measure 49 campaign actually wrote — says, “Claimants may build up to three homes if allowed when they acquired their properties.”

    Not, if your land is inside an urban growth boundary and you want to use the express lane. If your land is inside the boundary, you’re stuck with the process that applies to landowners wanting to build four to 10 homes on their property.

    And what if you live outside the boundary? Are you eligible for the express lane then? Not if a land-use regulation simply restricts use of your property. You’re only eligible if the regulation prohibits establishing a lot, parcel or dwelling. Section 6 says you must prove six conditions to be eligible to build one to three homes on your property. One is this: “One or more land regulations prohibit establishing the lot, parcel or dwelling.”

    There’s a king-size difference between “restricts.” and “prohibits.” Measure 37 safeguards your rights if regulators impose after-purchase “restrictions” on your land. Restrictions stop building unless certain conditions are met. An example is the $80,000 farm-income test that has kept folks from building homes on less than 80 acres in farm zones. Others would be environmental overlays, buffer zones and setbacks. Prohibitions say you just cannot build or develop, no how, no way.

    And don’t let Measure 49 backers tell you there’s no difference between prohibits and restricts. An unrelated section uses “restricts” instead of “prohibits.” They seem to know there’s a difference.

    Well, if your property is outside an urban area and a regulation prohibits building or subdividing your property — then are you eligible for the express lane? Not if you haven’t already filed a Measure 37 claim. So sorry.

    Measure 49 builds an express lane to nowhere. Clearly, it’s not to a land of real property rights.

    OK, fine, Measure 49’s one-to-three dwelling express lane isn’t going to help much. There’s still the slower four-to-10 track. Won’t it protect your right to build up to 10 homes if that was allowed when you bought?

    Not if a land-use rule restricts rather than prohibits building on your land. The same language that applies to the express lane applies to the four-to-10-dwellings process. You’d still have to prove that a post-purchase land-use regulation actually prohibits building or development.

    And not if you don’t have major dollars to pursue your claim though government agencies and the courts. Measure 49 requires claimants to pay for not one but two appraisals to determine the financial impact of each land-use regulation. One of what your land was worth a year before the land-use rule reduced its value and another of what it was worth a year after the regulation. Never mind that this kind of forensic appraising is not standard practice. Never mind that Measure 49 ties its interest rate calculations to a Treasury bill that hasn’t been sold since 2001. (Oops.) Many properties have been covered by multiple land-use regulations.

    Not only would claimants have to pay for these appraisals, but Measure 49 also allows governments to charge for reviewing your dual appraisals (presumably with dual appraisals of their own) along with all other costs associated with processing your claim. And if third parties objecting to your claim offers appraisals, you could end up paying for the government to review their appraisals.

    The meter’s running for any Oregonian who wants to make a property-rights claim, and it doesn’t end there. Say the agency grants your claim. Measure 49 allows anyone who has expressed an interest in your case to sue you in court. So you also have to weigh potential court costs against the value of pursuing your property-rights claim.

    What Measure 49 concedes in principle it would cancel out in practice.

    But doesn’t Oregon law now give property owners the right to recover their courts costs if they prevail? Yes, but Measure 49 would abolish this right. Oregon property owners would be at the mercy of all the folks, statewide and national, who oppose the individual’s right to build what they were allowed to build when they first bought their land.

    If the meter would be running on property owners’ costs, the clock would not be. Measure 49’s Section 8 requires only that the review process be done “as quickly as possible, consistent with careful review of the claim.” Now, that should get them cracking. Even if property owners can hack the real and potential costs of making a claim, agencies can run the clock — a critical issue, since most Oregonians with claims are elderly.

    Which brings us back to Dorothy English, the little old lady who was the high-pitched scratchy voice of Measure 37 and property rights in Oregon. Property-rights foes and Measure 49 fans never tire of saying Oregonians thought Measure 37 was about protecting Oregon’s Dorothy Englishes — small landowners victimized by land-use rules — and nothing more. It’s an insult to voters, but that’s not the point here. Implicit in their spiel is that Oregonians were right to protect Dorothy English.

    Well, what would Measure 49 mean for Dorothy English? Would it fix her problem? Would it secure the rights this 95-year-old thought she secured under Measure 37? No, it would not. Her claim would not be eligible for the express lane, and she could not pass Measure 49’s “prohibits” test.

    Which is why, the good Lord willing, Dorothy English will remain the high-pitched scratchy voice of the anti-Measure 49 campaign and authentic property-rights cause in Oregon this fall.

    David Reinhard, associate editor, can be reached at 503-221-8152 or davidreinhard@ news.oregonian.com.

  • Charlie

    So Dean you keep telling people M49 is more of a fix than a repeal and you’ll belying.
    Why? Because you know that if voters know it to be the effective or virtual repeal that it is they will vote against it.
    If voters see it as a pack of lies you propagandize they will vote for it.
    Furthermore I have witnessed, like more and more Oregonians every day, that there is very little “reasonableness” with respect to government’s ability to regulate land use and far more unworkable theories screwing up every city we live in?
    For you it’s blind support for the status quo.
    Your conclusion that M49 is reasonable is based upon being uninformed and your misguided set of beleifs spawned from the establishment misleading you.
    Our land use system they tout is far more overreaching a few glitches like the $80,000 farm income rule, and M49 puts most of the ones relevied by M37 back into force.
    Of course M37 passed in large part due to the overeaching.
    But yor side has turned M37 into a monster it is not.
    M37, having never an ability to be utlilized by enough landowners was and is not a M37 swinging of the balance too far.
    In reality it was and is a very small step away from the rigid and overreaching extremism you yourself, vaguely recoginize.
    A small step unacceptable to Oregon’s land use planning regime and their fanatical allies.

    Another question I have is what is wrong with timber companies funding M37? How else were M37 advocates supposed to get enough funding to battle the bigger bucks of the oppostion?
    And so what if they are doing it to forstall additional stream riparian buffers. Our riparian buiffers are extensive and sufficient.
    Yet yourside keeps telling the public these timber companies will be paving over our forests.
    You cast their interests as “preserving their right to pollute public streams”?
    What a liar you are.
    Here you are again delivering propaganda beyond belief.
    Oregon has extensive restrictions and regulations prohibitting the polluting of public and private streams.
    Yet you are telling people M37 must be fixed by M49 to stop timber companies from polutting our streams.
    You are a poster boy for the lying Yes on 49 campaign.
    You can’t get past all the rhetoric and your lies rendering you incappablke of knowing what’s good for our kids and grandkids or what a “right balance” looks like.

    And if you want people to play nice stop your blatant misrepresentations of M37 and M49.

    • dean apostol

      Charlie,

      Temper temper. I was taught long ago that you can tell when one side is losing an argument because they get madder and more self-righteous along the way. You seem to have reached fever pitch. Calm down, take a breath, and consider what you are saying.

      M49 supporters (including myself) can’t be right, so we must be liars, cheaters, decievers, and worse. This alows you to dismiss any and all arguments we make. And if that doesn’t work, shout us down. Call us names. Hurt our liberal feelings.

      I don’t care if timber companies are funding the anti 49 campaign or not. My point was that they have an agenda they are not being upfront about. And yes, preserving their right to pollute streams is a big part of it. I work in the natural resource field and know something about stream regulations, which are minimal in Oregon, and much weaker than our sistering states (north and south).

      You say our riparian buffers are “extensive and sufficent.” You think a 20 foot no cut buffer, and this applied only to sections of streams that have salmon or trout in them, is sufficient? I don’t know any aquatic scientist who would agree with you, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

      M49 negates the ability of the timber industry to forestall future regulations that would improve stream buffers, and in so doing would likely cost timber land owners in future revenues. So yes, that is a key interest they have. Understandably so.

      Unfortunately I’m too old and gnarly to be a “poster boy.” But thanks for the thought.

      I did not say by the way, that M49 is “more of a fix than a repeal.” I said it is not a repeal, period. A repeal is or is not. But allow me a question. Why do you think it is “essentially” a repeal, if it allows about 40% of the existing claims to go forward unmolested, and allows another 40% to at least have a chance to go forward if they can get across a higher bar. That leaves only 20% that actually are prohibited outright. (Reinhard’s overly negative analysis notwithstanding).

      Farm operations ARE impacted by neighboring land uses. We see this locally in Damascus. The typical suburban homeowner, and his pets, often have conflicts with noise dust, hours of machinery operation, sprays, cockadoodelling roosters and other aspects of commercial farming.

      Are you in favor of allowing all of the claims to go forward, with no modification to the provisions of M37? Do you support ANY modifications Charlie?

      Or would you rather just call me more names?

  • Charlie

    Dean,
    You’re using all of the same play. And that condescending calm down bit is as lame as any.
    You didn’t even read Reinhard, didn’t respond to it or my greater points and you repeated your lies.
    Yes lies. There are all sorts of details in M49 purposefully put there to undermine, obstruct and nuetrlaize M37 claims. M49 is much closer to a literal “repeal” than your misrepresentations.

    You could have exerpted them from Reinhards piece and responded. But of course you did not.
    And OH BS again on the impacted farm nonsense. Barking dogs don’t shut down a farm. There are working farms all over the region next to Metro mandated development.
    Oh but it’s horrible if a M37 development of less impact is allowed?
    Yes I am in favor of M37 having previously voted against it.
    Looking at the real claims and the fabricated case against it and lies from M49 changed my mind.
    You are making me certain I’ll vote against M49.

    There’s nothing wrong with our stream buffers.
    So no I do not support any modifications.
    Your whole pitch is based on an extensive pack of lies.

    It’s stunning that you would even bring up Damascus. If that isn’t an example of our dysfunctional land use system I don’t know what is. I’ll take M37 development over that costly chaos any day.

    I think Metro’s planned Damascus is supposed to cost over a billion in tax dollars and will take years more of planning to break ground.

    And [from another thread]what’s being proposed for Damascus by the our Freinds and Coalition for a livable future?

    http://www.clfuture.org/publications/news/Damascus%20final%20comments%2010-21.pdf

    designing local collectors for vehicle speeds of 15 MPH or less.
    narrower streets, less than two full lanes in many cases, and much narrower right-of-ways
    Transit
    Consider the extension of light rail or a non-urban streetcar line (such as the old interurban lines or the ‘Red Line’ in Los Angeles) south from Gresham, in addition to other connections.

    • dean apostol

      Charlie…Charlie,

      I did read Reinhard. (Though I suppose you might accuse me of lying about that too). His arguments, as I have discussed them with some neighbors, are “lawyerly.” He suspects the motives of the drafters, so focuses on this or that word to deconstruct M49 into something that won’t actually be implemented. A bait and switch.

      Not being a lawyer, I won’t get into the “restrict vs. prohibit” semantics that his entire argument seems to rest on.

      Like with Reinhard, your objection to M49 seems to me based on your distrust of the proponents. Since you don’t trust any supporters, we are all “liars,” and you can thus park your critical thinking at the door and be done with it.

      But take a step back and play a “what if” game with me. What if the proponents are correct in their assertion that the small M37 claims of 1-3 homesites, virtually all of them, will be given the green light ? And what if the 4-10 homesite claims that are not on prime farm or forest land, and that are not in declining groundwater areas are also allowed to move ahead (subject to all the other land use safeguards that exist)?

      In that case, only the larger residential, and all the non residential waivers are prohibited under M49. If one assumes this is true (stay with me here Charlie,) then in that case would you feel that M49 is something worth your consideration? Or are these modifications too much for you?

      As for Damascus, it is another topic. I live here, argued against the Coalition/Friends plan, and continue to work with my neighbors to try and get to a decent outcome, which I define as a well planned, affordable “city-country” that retains the values most of us moved here for. I agree with you that Metro has botched the effort from the get go, but probably for different reasons than you might have.

      By the way, its not the dogs barking that is the problem. It is the dogs who chase and sometimes kill the farmer’s livestock. We have had this problem on our own farm now and again.

  • Charlie

    Dean Dean Dean What’s with all of the lie chatter.
    Heck you already admitted to one of the biggest whoppers by your and my friends, That M37 paves over valleys.
    So get over the “liar” hyper-sensitivity, preferrable by stopping the lies.

    Those “what if” “modifications” you desribe are pure fantasy. I think it is you who needs to apply some critical thinking and reality. And you avoid like the plague any specific responses to key point. No need to play what if games.

    You apparently haven’t grasped how Exclusivce Farm Use is broadly applied sweeping up vast amounts of marginal land. You also fail to graps, or are deliberatley ignoring how relative few parcels meet M37 requirements. Forest and declining ground water areas are also tremendously subjective and are being used as anti-M37 weapons.
    You are indeed blind and extemely biased. Reading Reinhard’s and other real world specifics about M49 reveals why the legislature dominated by M37 opponents brought it to be.

    I want you to explain why you want to play “what if” games and call M49 a “green light” for M37 claims of 1-3 homesites.

    Do you call this a green light

    “Claimants may build up to three homes if allowed when they acquired their properties.” ??????
    Not, if your land is inside an urban growth boundary and you want to use the express lane. If your land is inside the boundary, you’re stuck with the process that applies to landowners wanting to build four to 10 homes on their property.

    Is that a green light?

    “And what if you live outside the boundary? Are you eligible for the express lane then? Not if a land-use regulation simply restricts use of your property. You’re only eligible if the regulation prohibits establishing a lot, parcel or dwelling.”

    Is that a green light?

    “Section 6 says you must prove six conditions to be eligible to build one to three homes on your property. One is this: “One or more land regulations prohibit establishing the lot, parcel or dwelling.”

    Is that a green light?

    Your mind is an immovable object.

    And you also refuse to repsond to the comparisons to the planner’s subdivisions which are truly ugly chaos.
    I say bring on the M37 subdivsions they are far preferable.

    The only way one can make a case that M49 is something worth consideration is by way of your fantasy scenarios.
    Scenarios which are completely disconnected form the realties of M49, M37 and the track record of those you got the fantasies from.

    Damascus is not another topic. It is at the core of this debate and what should be lessons learned. Metro done far worse than “botched the effort from the get go” and it’s not the first time. They have continued a pattern of misinformation to advance their theories about land use planning that are ripe with detriments for our entire region. And it’s over and over again claiming it’s better to cram more into the same areas while never having real world ideas on how to make it all work. And it aint.
    The botching is all over the place with Damascus, North Bethany, The Beaverton Round or SoWa and the Tram and every UGB expansion in the last 10 years. Right along with incredible waste and lousy results from many Transit Oriented Developments Metro and their partners have pushed along with countless millions.

    And yeah I know the dogs and farm animals story. It’s not a M37 issue. Just another piece of disingenuopus bate for the voters to ponder. But boy I bet Metro is right on top of that problem with their Damascus plan. Of course they are not. Just like they have no real concern or ides about cost, funding, affordable housing, housing with yards, traffic congestion or even the effects on farming when it comes to their grand schemes.
    The whole attack on M37 is an effort to halt any and all alternatives to more of this trash they peddle.
    And it is why the proponents of M49 are not to be trusted one bit.
    They have been lying to the public about land use and transportation planning for decades, robbing people of their own land uses while crippling every city in the State.
    I know full well what has been happening in Damascus and some soon to be voted on intitiatives may pull the rug out from under Metro’s plan. Hopefully so. At the same time perhaps some M37 development will move forward with more and more of the M37 lies becoming evident to everyone.

  • dean apostol

    Charley,

    Well, you can’t say I didn’t try to engage you civily. You want to remain an angry, name-calling fellow, that is on you my friend. I’ll stay peaceful about it.

    I think you used the word “liar” few dozen times in these exchanges. You assume M49 can’t possibly work as advertised because anyone who supports it is a liar. If I agreed with you, I would be a truth-teller. If I disagree I am a liar. That does not leave much space for dialogue, but perhaps you get some satisfaction through name-calling. So be it.

    Your beef with Oregon’s land use plannning system is clearly deep and apparently personal. I can’t break through, and won’t try any further.

    Declining water tables are “subjective?” I suppose the $10,000 we paid for a new well 2 years ago was also “subjective” eh? Geez Charlie, get real.

    Just one last point to help you go to bed angry. The so-called marginal land that is “swept up” by EFU zoning includes two of the most important and economically productive farm types in Oregon: wine grapes and nursery trees.

  • Charlie

    Oh silly Dean,

    I’ll pass on your brand of peace and civility, laced with misrepresetation and obfuscation.
    And it’s hardly peacefull, your irrational anger over M37.

    It appears easier for you to count words than apply critical thinking to germane points.
    There’s no assuming about M49. It won’t work like the fantasy you “what if’d”. Or rather lied about.
    Of course you lied again when claiming I said “anyone who supports it is a liar”. I say anyone who spouts lies about it is a liar.
    Is that just too simple and straight forwared for you?

    I can tell you have no ability to adjust to the reality of M37. So be it.
    Your biggest problem is don’t know how to have a dialogue. Instead you cherry pick and morph selected tid bits to repsond to while ignoring the most germane.
    Your failure to recognize the dishonesty and deep dysfunction in Oregon’s land use plannning system makes you a biased demagogue. It’s one thing to have an opinion or preference but your distribution of bald faced lies is the stuff of an unethical campaign.
    You’ve done nothing but peddle the anti-M37 dogma.

    I paid to have m,y well deepened too. It was caused by local government well use and santioned well abuse by wealthy campaign donors. It seems the cause and effect on ground water can be whatever the State wants it to be, depending on their “interests”.
    So naturally everywhere a M37 claim pops up and wells are nearby it’s a M37 related problem.
    Not a single well has been effected by any M37 claim yet. Including yours. Yes let’s get real and look at the Bull in the China shop status quo, instead of the little kitten in the back room M37.

    And on your last point before bedtime, the marginal land is abundant, all over the place with countless acreage prohibited from use. Most of which has not been farmed and will never be farmed.
    The fools who insist we lock it all up claim we may need it when cars and trucks are no longer used and our food must be grown nearby. That’s the kind of assinine policy making that opposed M37 in support of grand unworkable schemes such as Damascus.
    Which you don’t want to talk about.
    Do we need land for “wine grapes and nursery trees”? Sure and we have plenty of it and M37 NEVER threatened either. Not one bit.
    The relative few parcels approved for M37 makes it impossible for any measurable effect on either.
    But you suggest otherwise don’t you.

  • dean apostol

    Charley,

    M37 claims are allowed anywhere, regardless of whether the water table is in decline or not. Read the front page of today’s Oregonian. Of course, they could by “lying’ as well I suppose. I mean, that is your answer for everything that does not fit your world view right?

    And who needs local food when we can buy it from China? All we really need is more rural subdivisions. Vote no on 49.

    Peace Charley.

  • Charlie

    Dean,
    You’ve proven yourself to be a biased, dishonest nitwit.
    Hoodwinked and on a propaganda roll.
    M37 claims are only allowed on parcels that qualify. And relatively few do actually qualify. Far less than the sweeping haphazard developments our planners promote. M37 is a tiny fraction of what they mandate. In the frenzy too obstruct M37 claims
    of COURSE all thigs are used and embellished. Water tables too.

    Read the front page of the Oregonian? Thats a hoot. That rag is the 1000 Friends of Oregon newsletter, wholey corrupted with bias.
    Last week the Oregonain story read, “7500 M37 claims for subdivisions and industrial development.”
    Nice. YES they are indeed liars too.
    As they have lied repreatedly about literally all of the establishment planning.
    On the grow it local canard you obvioulsy have trouble comprehending. Maybe I need to speak slower?
    That issue isn’t about whether we get our food from China or Oregon. It’s the hysterical baffonery of some wild scenario of when there are no vehicle to ship food, we need to save land in Beaverton etc. to feed people in the region or they’ ll starve.
    And you turn that assinine tripe into a China or US for food so vote Yes on M49?
    You’re obvioulsy incappable of any straight forward discussion without wandering around with anti-M37 “what ifs” fantasies and stop M37 for our food supply.
    Pathethic and dishonest.

  • dean apostol

    Charlie,

    You are right. I am a dishonest nitwit. And a thief, murderer, and hippie flag burner. Did I leave anything out?

    Buh bye now. God bless you.

  • Charlie

    Finally you have come around.

    Now say ten hail marys, three our fathers and stop lying about M37 and M49.
    And go tell your friends to shut up too.

  • Trevor Stewart

    Charlie,

    I don’t think your caustic and bombastic approach of calling people liars while fairly transparently avoiding a lot of entirely reasonable points of discussion is not doing your cause service, even here on Oregoncatalyst.

    Trevor

  • Charlie

    Hey Trevor,
    I haven’t ignored anything. Contrary to Dean ignoring all of reinhards piece and every major point I made.
    And what you pretend is reasonable is nothing but M49 demagoguery, lies and deliberate public deception.

    If you object to an aggressive and ferocious reponse to it as too “caustic and bombastic” well that’s a good thing.
    You folks are not reasonable people who use proponderance of the evidence so I am not attempting to pursuade you.

    You need to be severely beaten, figuratively speaking of course, for your crimes against ethics and Oregon.

    If you can’t take the heat and throw back, shut up and go find some comfort zone to spread your trash.
    Like the Oregonian or BlueOregon.

  • dean apostol

    Charley, my dearest friend….

    If the Oregonian is also a liar, doesn’t that make your beloved Reinhard, who writes for them and sits on their editorial board a liar as well? Is he the only truth teller there? And if so, why does he remain among that pack of thieves? Just curious.

    And for the record, I don’t see your tone as aggressive, ferocious, bombastic, or caustic. I find it well reasoned, articulate, compelling. brilliant dare I say. If I were you I would offer my servies to the No on 49 campaign and charge by the word.

  • Charlie

    Dean,
    That was weak.
    Are you cappable of understanding anything? The Reinhard piece was one exception to near daily does of Oregonain anit-M37 propaganda. Reinhard is of course as everyone knows the lone alternative voice in the paper. So, you haven’t made any point.
    Your trivial tripe is just that.

    Yes the Oregonian regularily lies. Blatantly so.
    As I quoted above from a story, and you totally ignored it, of course,

    “7500 claims of subdivisions and industrial development”
    That’s among countless other misrepresentations you and yours echo.

    When ethics don’t matter you and the Oregonian say anything you fabricate.

    • dean apostol

      Charlie old buddy old pal…

      I could answer that yes, I am capable of understanding, but then I could be lying about that as well right?

      You see, we are both trapped now. Its like the logical conundrum from ‘The Mystery of Casper Houser.” You are walking through the forest and you come to a fork in the road. There is a man standing there, and you can only ask him 1 question. You want to know which path leads to the village of truth, where people always tell the truth. But you don’t know him, and he could be from the village of lies, where of course everyone tells only lies.

      Assuming you don’t have a map and compass, What would you ask him Charlie?

      And I have to add, before I experienced your accusations, I thought the conundrum posed above was only a parable. I did not realize there are people in this world, you among them apparently, who actually live this way day to day. I feel sad for you. Truly.

  • Charlie

    Dean,
    Here is some truth from Hood River.
    You are indeed a liar. There’s only one way to stop being called a liar. Stop lying.

    http://hoodrivernews.com/News%20stories/80_news_2.htm

    Critic: M49 laced
    with poison pills

    By RAELYNN RICARTE
    News staff writer
    October 8, 2007

    Attorney Andrew Stamp told Hood River County residents on Monday that Measure 49 was imbedded with “poison pills” to stop development.

    The land use specialist from Lake Oswego said the referendum was not intended to restore property rights. He said Democrats in the legislature had written Measure 49 with the intention of restoring Oregon’s “broken land use system.”

    “The language in Measure 49 appears to be very innocuous. But it is actually a subtle way to destroy people’s (Measure 37) claims,” said Stamp.

    For example, he said the referendum states that landowners who have had property devalued by regulations can regain up to 10 home sites. However, Stamp said virtually all of Oregon’s land mass has been defined in the proposal as “high value farmland” that is limited to three home sites.

    “Basically if you look out your window and you don’t see big boulders or a steep slope, you are sitting on high value farmland,” said Stamp.

    He was one of three presenters at a Stop 49 forum sponsored by Gorge Land Use Equity at the Hood River Inn on Oct. 1. Stamp was joined on the panel by Pine Grove farmer Jon Laraway and Steven Andersen, owner of Cascade Planning Associates.

    The three speakers agreed that Measure 49 is being billed as a “fix” for Measure 37 but is actually intended to “kill” the law.

    They said Measure 37 was approved by 61 percent of voters statewide in 2004 on a simple premise. It required governments to compensate landowners for enacting regulations that devalued property. In lieu of making that payment, the agency could restore the development right in place when the land was acquired.

    Andersen said Democrats in the Oregon Legislature and conservation groups immediately set up political and legal roadblocks to thwart implementation of Measure 37. He said citizens were then told the law was too cumbersome to enact and needed an overhaul.

    “I felt that Measure 37 was finally something that could force the legislature’s hand and make them fix the land use system. But they spent their entire time trying to fix Measure 37 instead,” said Laraway.

    Andersen said the most potent “poison pill” in Measure 49 boiled down to the insertion of one word. He said the use of “prohibit” in a key piece of text would stop most landowners from even gaining one home lot.

    He said even if a home site was granted by a successful claim, a residence could not be built unless existing regulations “prohibit” it outright. He said Oregon’s land use rules “restrict” dwellings on farm land unless certain tests were met. For example, he said a home site is “restricted” unless the property owner can generate $80,000 of income each year from an agricultural practice.

    “Virtually all of the progress Measure 37 made will be wiped out if Measure 49 passes just from this provision alone,” said Andersen.

    He recently challenged an Oregonian reporter for downplaying the difference between the two words. He said many media outlets are advocating for Measure 49 without informing readers or listeners how it will play out on the ground.

    In a reply e-mail to Andersen’s complaint, the Oregonian reporter expressed interest in researching the topic further if he could find a “neutral” land use attorney.

    Upon hearing that comment, Stamp said, “the only thing more difficult than finding a neutral land use attorney is finding a neutral reporter.”

    He said it was highly possible that Measure 49 would be approved by voters on Nov. 6. He said they were being “hoodwinked” by a “scare tactic” campaign that was outspending the opposition by a 10 to 1 ratio.

    For example, Stamp said pictures of urban subdivisions were being superimposed over pastoral settings. He said high-density development was not even possible in outlying areas because there was no sewer service and septic systems required room for a drain field.

    Laraway said Measure 49 did not recognize separate deeds if the properties owned by the same landowner were connected. Therefore, he said a “patchwork” of 100 acres under 10 deeds would still qualify for only one to three homes, including any existing dwellings.

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