Questions and Answers on Ballot Measure 49

With ballots arriving in the mail soon, we found it important to get our the basic facts on Measure 49. Please pass this on to your friends.

Q: What is Measure 49?

A: Ballot Measure 49 is a measure that repeals Measure 37 (See Section 4 of Measure 49 for the repeal language), the property rights measure approved by 61 percent of Oregon voters in 2004. It then replaces Measure 37 with new land-use limits on Oregonians that would reduce property values, threaten Oregon families’ lifetime investments and take away rights to use your land that were part of the purchase price for your property. Measure 49 grants the government the power to take your private property without compensation — a radical change In Oregon state law.

Q: Where did Measure 49 come from?

A: Against the will of Oregon voters, who have twice voted in favor of basic property rights and fair compensation for land devalued by government regulations, the Oregon Legislature (by a single vote) crafted Measure 49 to replace the voter-approved Measure 37. The Legislature did so without a single public hearing — and then they drafted an intentionally misleading ballot title. Clearly they are doing everything to regain the power to take your property without compensation.

Q: Who opposes Measure 49?

A: Groups like Stop Taking Our Property, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, the Oregon State Grange, the Oregon Family Farm Association PAC, Oregonians In Action, other agricultural organizations, business leaders, elected officials, and thousands of Oregon property owners are all fighting to protect hard-working Oregonians’ life savings and retirement investments as well as the basic right to use their land. Supporters of Measure 49 believe that Oregon property owners should be willing to give their property to government”” all without fair compensation.

Q: So who supports Measure 49?

A: A strange mix of big-money interests, out-of state interests, and environmental organizations who would rather see Oregon families drain their life savings jumping through bureaucratic hoops than enjoy the right to use their land as they planned. Many of these groups publicly urge government to take the use and value of your property, so they can buy it cheap. It is all about their self-interest and using government to take your property from you. One thing is for sure – the supporters of Measure 49 stand to make money by lowering the value of your property.

Q: Is It true that anyone in the entire United States can sue any Oregon landowner who makes a claim under Measure 49?

A: That’s right. Under Measure 49, anyone in the entire country could sue an Oregon landowner who has made a claim under the measure “” and even if you get sued and win your claim, you will still have to pay the legal bill for defending yourself, and can’t recover you’re attorney fees.

Q: Did average citizens get to offer comments on Measure 49 during the most recent session of the Legislature?

A: No. The Legislature refused to allow public comment and referred the measure to voters without any citizen input.

Q: Why would Measure 49 be so expensive for Oregon property owners?
A: Landowners filing a claim under Measure 49 will have to pay not only their own attorney and multiple appraisers, but also the government’s attorneys and appraisers (even if they win) just to prove their property lost value. In addition, because Measure 49 restricts how property owners can use their land, it will result in decreased property values across the state. For Oregon landowners who are counting on their land for retirement or long-term investments, that’s a scary thought. But Measure 49’s costs go beyond that. Under this measure, anyone filing a Measure 49 claim will be forced to fight lawsuits and won’t be able to recover their costs and attorney fees “” even if they win their claim.

Q: What else would Measure 49 do?

A: In addition to making it harder and more expensive for Oregonians to use their property as they originally intended, Measure 49 would eliminate land-use protections for Oregon farmers and foresters. It would also prevent families from passing their property rights on to their children, and it would let the government in the future change land-use rules without just compensation, thus preventing property owners from realizing the true value of their land and making it difficult for property owners to make investments in their property.

Q: What happens to Oregon landowners who already have a claim filed under Measure 37?

A: Existing Measure 37 claims will have to be re-filed under Measure 49 no matter how much money and time have already been spent. Even if a Measure 37 claim has been approved, and the property owner has jumped through all the hoops and spent thousands of dollars getting their approval, they will have to start over again under Measure 49. “Worse yet, very few claimants, if any, will get anything if they do start over.”

Q: Didn’t we just vote on major property rights measures?

A: Yes indeed. In 2000 we passed Measure 7, which the courts threw-out after appeals from those in favor of Measure 49. In 2004, 61 percent of Oregon voters approved Measure 37. And just last year, over 67 percent of Oregon voters approved Measure 39 to limit government taking of private property.

Now the same special interests who opposed these measures are using Measure 49 to repeal Measure 37. The have lost three times at the ballot, which is why they wrote a deceptive ballot title, and blocked all public hearings on Measure 49 — they know they have to mislead you to win.

When you voted In 2000, they sued you. After your vote in 2004 they sued you again, and lost. Now, they are attempting to trick you — we need to vote No on Measure 49 to protect our votes and our property rights.

Q: If Oregonians overwhelmingly approved Measure 37, why is the Legislature fiddling with it?

A: Despite the fact that 61 percent of Oregon voters approved Measure 37 and that many Oregonians would rather leave Measure 37 alone, the Legislature took it upon itself to repeal the measure through Measure 49. Lawmakers say they wanted to “clarify” the law, but Measure 49 adds new land-use restrictions, gives government the right to take or devalue a person’s property without compensation, and, in the end, makes the entire land-use claim process even more expensive, cumbersome and complex than ever before.

Measure 49 is poorly drafted, will have unintended consequences, and will lead to years of expensive litigation.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 41 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    The pro-49 lunatics are just simply nuts. They want to control our lives and our money. They don’t care anything about land use. They are simply greedy politicos who are afraid whenever citizens actually exercise their rights.

    They are simpletons and buffoons….all of them….and all you need to know is that the Oregonian (steadily declining revenue and readership) is in favor of 49, so you know it is bad.

  • Homer

    If you read Measure 49 carefully, you will see that these tree has many different unrelated bad fruit growing from it. My eyes have rarely seen a more flawed piece of law in my life.

  • Anonymous

    Just another step toward Socialism. Will people never learn, there isn’t a free lunch

  • Peter Bray

    Please note: the above information was written by Oregonians In Action, a far-right group funded by timber companies and developers. Just about everything above is false or shaded. As an example:

    Q: Is It true that anyone in the entire United States can sue any Oregon landowner who makes a claim under Measure 49?

    Might also be framed as:

    Q: Is It true that anyone in the entire United States can sue any one for just about anything?

    • DarePDX

      Peter-

      The question can not be rephrased that way. In fact your second phrasing is utterly false (except expressly allowed under law).

      In most cases a person must have standing and an actual damage that can be corrected in order to succesfully sue. Otherwise a judge will throw the court out of court for either lack of standing or failing to state a claim on which relief can be granted.

      A citizen of Washington state or California with no property, physical or financial connection to the state can not normally sue. Same with a citizen of Portland getting involved with a locally approved variance in Union county. Without LUBA local communities would make their own decisions. M37 pushes the pay or waive to the local level as opposed to M49 that places the ultimate decision with LUBA.

      M49 allows people with no real interest other than the hate of development to be involved. This by the way is an actual inverse result of what SB100 and Tom McCall had in mind for Oregon land use. Its an actual perversion of the property rights SB100 was supposed to protect for rural Oregon and local communities.

      Read Tom McCall biography. Better yet go to 1000 Friends website and watch the video they have. Farmers were protecting their way of life from people like you. Many of these same farmers wanted the reform of M37 which required government to have a logical provable reason to regulate land use.

    • Anonymous

      No, pinhead.

      Someone must have standing to sue. Currently someone in Massachusetts would not have standing to sue an Oregon property owner over a proposed use of his land. M49 grants that right.

      • Anonymous

        You throw any landuse case before LUBA and they accept testimony from what I understand.

  • Peter Bray

    Q: What else would Measure 49 do?

    A: In addition to making it harder and more expensive for Oregonians to use their property as they originally intended, Measure 49 would eliminate land-use protections for Oregon farmers and foresters.

    HAHA. That is quite, quite funny.

    • DarePDX

      M37 created one simple requirement.

      Government must have a health, safety or enviornmental reason for regulation. If the basis of a land use regulation did not have a quantifiable health/safety/environ purpose and it deprived a land owner the value of their land Government must waive the regulation or pay the lost value.

      M37 establishes a clear cut definition for a regulatory taking. M49 removes this clear cut standard.

      By removing this clear cut definition for a regulatory taking M49 guts M37. M37 being a very simple measure protecting a very specific property right.

      By definition taking away the very basis of a ballot measure is gutting the measure.

      M49 guts M37. This is the truth you are running from Peter. Face up to it.

  • Peter Bray

    Q: If Oregonians overwhelmingly approved Measure 37, why is the Legislature fiddling with it?

    OIA’s Dave Hunnicutt has even stated that he believes voters want Measure 37 revisions. Indeed, Measure 37 has left open the issue of transferability: granted claims currently ARE NOT transferred to future owners. Measure 49 grants MORE property rights by fixing the issue of transferability: successful waivers are automatically transferred to new owners.

    Q: Didn’t we just vote on major property rights measures?

    Yes we did. Oregonians voted, directly or by proxy, over 6 times since 1972 to PRESERVE Oregon’s land use planning system.

    Q: Did average citizens get to offer comments on Measure 49 during the most recent session of the Legislature?

    Yes, at many, many public hearings.

    Q: Who opposes Measure 49?

    Big timber, real estate developers, extremist out-of-state libertarians, and lawyers.

    • Anonymous

      You are a complete liar. It must not be a coincidence that your family name is the sound a jackass makes.

  • Anonymous

    Peter Bray’s posting should be removed for being lies and misleading. As just one example, Average citizens did NOT get to testify on M49. They got to testify on land use laws in general before M49 was written. But after M49 was written behind closed doors by two liberal Democrats it was not given any public hearings where M37 supporters could testify against it. Instead, it was passed quickly on a party-line vote. Peter Donkey should be banned from the site for posting falsehoods. Those types of posts belong on BlueOregon, not here.

  • Trevor Stewart

    The more I learn about Measure 49 and Measure 37, it is starting to look to me as if it is the anti-measure 49 crowd that is doing most the lying and exaggerating.

    Measure 49 will not take away anyone’s property, that is ridiculous hyperbole. A good scare tactic but far from the truth. In fact, it will clarify Measure 37 to allow people to build a few homes on their land while stop big developers from building irresponsible subdivisions where they currently are not allowed.

    Trevor Stewart

  • Anon

    I was on the fence about Measure 49. I voted for Measure 37, and I figured that I would vote against Measure 49. But reading the stuff above made me think that Oregonians In Actions must think I am a total moron to buy that load of BS. I am either not voting at all or voting Yes on measure 49. Oregonians In Action should be ashamed of themselves for trying to pull the wool over my eyes! Who dfo they think they are with this stupid scaremongering?

    • CRAWDUDE

      I doubt you ever comtemplated voting against M49, next time sign the handle you normally use on here or don’t waste your time typing.

    • common sense Carl

      It takes a big man to admit a mistake and move on. Congratulations.

  • Jennifer

    I was leaning toward Yes on M49 after voting against M37. After reading the comments from M49 supporters I have to say I am now leaning towards opposing M49.
    Especailly with what I see being done to our state by the planning establishment.
    And why is it the few M37 subdivsions will be bad while the many current ones under the land use planning are just not so good themselves?
    My current understanding is M37 has a very limited ability to spawn very many subdivisions or any other “bad”development, claims don’t keep coming and what we see now in claims is pretty much what we’ll get. So why the hysteria?
    I honestly can’t support the continuatiuon of the higher density development I see happening in and on the edges of Washington County. The plan for North Bethany appears as bad, or worse than any M37 claim.
    I’s not time to vote yet, but right now I’ll say leave M37 alone and do something about what our planners are doing.

    • CRAWDUDE

      OMG! this is almost the exact sme post as was written in another article on the Catalyst! Spin on you poor unfortunate people…………..my goodness at least be oroginal!

    • Ted Kennedy’s Liver

      When you’re posting pre-written talking points to opposition websites you’re supposed to make sure one of your fellow travellers hasn’t already done so.

      I’ve seen this same screed all over the web. More proof that the pro 49 crowd are both dishonest and dimwitted.

  • DarePDX

    I see a consistent theme from the Pro-49 crowd of calling those attempting to define property rights as fundamental are liars.

    They don’t point to a lie. In fact they usually lie or scream that to believe in fundamental property rights we are really just motivated solely by greed.

    Peter – Where are the lies? Show them to me.

    From what I can tell primarily you just argue with yourself because your scared a real debate might start to break out. That the side of proprty rights might actually rais half of the money of the anti-37 and pro-49 crowd. You fear the fact that over 60% of Oregon believes in private property rights and are okay with profit seeking capitalism as the bedrock foundation of Oregon’s legal system.

  • Trevor Stewart

    One of the most blatant falsehoods of the No on 49 camp is that Measure 49 repeals Measure 37. Measure 49 will HELP over 40% of small claims go forward and still applies Measure 37 waive or pay scheme going forward on all future land use restrictions. That is NOT repeal. Measure 49 merely limits the large excessive claims that pose REAL threats to Oregon’s rural economy and beauty.

    The only way I could see that someone could call Measure 49 a “repeal” is if they reject any notion of balance between the rights of property owners and the rights of everyone else to plan our collective future. By this logic any balance or compromise is “taking your property rights.” There has to be some balance. Measure 49 provides a measure of balance.

    It looks to me like those who put Measure 37 on the ballot are trying to scare Oregonians.

    Trevor Stewart

    • Ted Kennedy’s Liver

      OK, let me clarify the language.

      Measure 49 effectively repeals measure 37. Note the word effectively. The fact that it does not state in M49 that it repeals M37 is mere semantics. “Fixing” my cat still means castrating him.

  • anonifer

    Free Oregon
    No on 49

  • DMF

    Wow, THose supporting measure 49 must be educated. Too bad they aren’t wise.

  • Charlie

    I am a member of the Sierra Club and usually align with 1000 Friends but this Measure is effectively a repeal of M37 and has been falsly cast by it’s proponents as a fix.

    There’s no way any Oregonians who voted for M37 should vote for this M49.
    In fact many who voted against M37 should join in voting against M49 as M37 has been shown to be nothing like what the M37 opposition predicted it would be.
    I’ll have to aggree with those who say M37 will have very little impact on Oregon farming, forest, the environment or even land use planning.
    The rampant distortions and exageration my M49 proponents is not right.

    • DMF

      I’m not really impressed with the Sierra Club, but I’m impressed with the fact you have some common sense.

  • Tom Evans

    “Q: Who opposes Measure 49?”

    Another important question voters should consider is who is providing the bulk of funding the campaign to defeat Measure?

    A: Several large timber companies who have hundreds of millions of dollars worth of existing or potential Measure 37 claims at stake are providing the bulk of the funding to oppose Measure 49. They include Stimson Lumber with over $269 million in Measure 37 claims at stake mostly for housing developments on 169,000 acres across the state. Stimson has given $200,000 to defeat Measure 49. Other large timber companies funding the anti-Measure 49 campaign include Swanson Group Inc ($163,500), Seneca Jones Timber Co. ($100,000), Freres Lumber Co., Inc. ($50,000), Cascade Timber Consulting, Inc. ($50,000), Murphy Hardwood Plywood Division ($25,000), C & D Lumber ($25,000), South Coast Lumber Co. (25,000), and RSG Forest Products, Inc. ($25,000).

    • Chris McMullen

      Whatever, what about Eric Lemelson’s $750,000 supporting M49? The Sierra Club? Nature Conservancy? All have a huge stake in repealing M37. They want cheap ag land to expand their holdings.

  • Al

    Who is providing the bulk of funding in the campaign in favor or m49? Enviromental groups like 1000 blank of Oregon, The Nature Conservancy, an a elitist trust fund baby. Come on. I’d sooner trust businessmen than these people anyday.

  • CRAWDUDE

    Yes, and 1000 fiends of Oregon and a lot of other whacko neo-environmentalists are for it! The mere fact that the afore mentioned groups are for M49 is proof enough to me that it’s a bad deal. Throw in that un a liberal legislature, Moronic Governor and the Oregonian and it’s obviously a very bad measure, in my opinion.

  • Charlie

    I don’t think 1000 Friends should be cast as wackos. They have pretty genuine concerns for Oregon and the environment.
    Unfortunately they seem to have adopted some extraordinary methods to advance their worthy cause. That being, IMO, near total disregard for the truth on some serious issues. I can’t understand why they feel they must utilize such misbehavior. If they put their anti-M37 activisim and money to work on more pressing, honest and legimiate enviromental needs, I think we, and Oregon, would be a lot better off.
    I too would like to know how M37 can fill up or pave over anything. It’s obvious that not enough M37 claims can ever be approved to amount to much of anything remarkable, or desructive. Realtively speaking of course. Including whatever the timber interests end up doing.
    I too would also would like to know what our planning establishment has in mind for all of our communities. I have some serious concerns about what maybe ahead given what I have been watching over the last decade or so. It’s hard to imagine it allworking out. Whatever they are doing

  • CRAWDUDE

    Sorry Charlie! ( I just had to do it, lol!)

    I saw a sign funded by 1000 Fiends that simply said ” Save the farm” ” Yes on 49″. The inference is that somehow M37 is taking peoples farms away from them and developing the land. What a dishonest group of people!!!

    M37 allows people who own a farm to develop it just like the people around them develop their land. M49 prevents people from putting more than 3 house on their own land, regardless of how much land it is.

  • Charlie

    I saw a sign like that on I-5, at that food processing plant that has cattle grazing between it and the freeway. A familliar landmark.
    That “farm” isn’t threatened by M37.
    I have not read about any farm being put out of existence because of M37. This is what I have been talking about.
    It seems the anti-M37/Yes on M49 people, who I usually agree with. are indeed misleading the voters in advance of the upcoming election.
    I can understand how some of them do not want any relaxing of Oregon’s land use laws at all and how some are mistakenly beleiving M37 can be utilized by most property owners but I am sorry to say they are wrong and should reconsider what they are doing.
    Many are my friends and I find it troublesome.

  • CRAWDUDE

    You’re right Charlie……………..m37 allows farmers , common citizens and other entities to develop the land that “THEY” own………the government doe not own it!!!!!!! The liberals on here will argue that all land belongs to the people and no one really owns it (even though they pay taxes on it). Therfore they believe they have a right to tell another peson what they can do with their property…………………….it’s a pathetic example of real socialism.

    Socialists ( liberals) can’t stand admitting what they are so they lie, cheat and misrepresent their views hoping that the population (who they feel are ignorants) fall for their biased stories.

    Unfortunately……………the people of Oregon have! I have a bad feeling that they will again too!

    Stupid is, what stupid does…

  • DarePDX

    M37 created one simple requirement.

    Government must have a health, safety or enviornmental reason for regulation. If the basis of a land use regulation did not have a quantifiable health/safety/environ purpose and it deprived a land owner the value of their land Government must waive the regulation or pay the lost value.

    M37 establishes a clear cut definition for a regulatory taking. M49 removes this clear cut standard.

    By removing this clear cut definition for a regulatory taking M49 guts M37. M37 being a very simple measure protecting a very specific property right.

    By definition taking away the very basis of a ballot measure is gutting the measure.

    M49 guts M37. This is a logical and true statement.

  • Charlie

    I’ve noticed a recurring charge made by M49 proponents that M37 does NOT repeal M37 and that M49 opponents are lying about it doing so.
    Perhaps some clarification is on order.
    My understanding is M49 of course does not literally “repeal” M37 but it certainly reverses or undermines enough of M37 that it is not
    a lie to use the word “repeal”.
    So much of M37 will be essentially repealed by M49 that one can know for certain that is also the intent of the legislature.
    I suspect that anything less than a virtual repeal would not have been put up for a vote as every democrat in the democrat controlled legislature was opposed to M37.
    100% of Democrat legislators sided with the 39% of voters who voted against M37 and worked all session to reverse 61% of voters and M37.
    I just cannot approve of these tactics and the disconnect this approach represents. There simply is not anything more behind the
    Yes on M49 than was trumpeted during the entire M37 campaign.
    And I bought it and voted against M37.
    Now I am looking at the realities of M37 and it’s minimul effect on Oregon while reading a new round of predictions that don’t make any sense.
    More troubling is the absence of responses by my friends when asked about some of those predictions. I mean farming isn’t going anywhere because of M37, no valley will be filled up and M37 doesn’t override all zoning and building regulations.
    Why is it necessary to make such claims?
    If they can’t win the vote with the truth perhaps they should not win. At least that’s my thinking and much of why I am voting against M49. That and what I see our planning departments pushing as preferrable to a little bit of M37 development has me more concerned about Oregon.

    • dean apostol

      Charlie,

      M49 at least potentially allows about 80% of all the claims to go forward. Presumably ALL of the claims for 1-3 home sites, and at least some of the claims for 4-10 homesites will be realized if M49 passes. What is “repealed” are the larger claims, the commercial claims, and the claims within urban growth boundaries (where land values are already quite high, and neighbors are very close toether).

      The minimal effects from M37 to date are temporary. Very few claimants have been able to get through all the hoops yet, and the transferability problem could end up derailing most of them in the end. We have to assume that the intent of the claim filers is to build sooner or later don’t we? To say the worst has not happened yet so therefore “don’t worry, be happy” seems very naiive to me.

      You don’t have to completely fill a valley to ruin it. There are tipping points in landscapes. Do your homework before you conclude that M37 impacts will not be substantial. In some areas, particularly just outside urban growth boundaries, where land values are most affected they will likely be substantial. If you think those impacts are an appropriate tradeoff individual rights vs. community values,) then vote against 49. But don’t vote against it simply because the worst has not happened yet.

  • dewey

    Chris McMullen,

    The Nature Conservancy rarely buys ag land (because its biological value is generally quite limited, given that most ag land is used to produce monoculture crops). The Sierra Club does not buy land at all. So what exactly are you talking about? Is it possible that they have other motivations?

    Maybe they are engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to control all land in Oregon! One that involves the Democratic Party and Phil Knight and Nike and the wine industry. Let’s see where that one goes……….hmmmm. Time to call Lyndon LaRouche for a consultation, methinks. Bet he will have a theory that fits the facts.

    Or perhaps there is a reason why the Republican Party cannot win statewide races in Oregon. Ya think?

  • Tom

    People who bought there farmland before land restrictions could not even predict that land values and the booming property values of today. Unfortunately, people think more about money and not there values. If people would do the right we would not need regulations, until then we do. The fact is the government is not going to take land from someone without paying them. I really hope Measure 49 passes. I live out in the county and my neighbors have claims for putting a neighborhood in. We don’t have water, roads, and sewer. So please if you love Oregon Vote yes on 49. Just read your ballot and you will see that is doesn’t take land away. It protects Oregon for our children.

  • Al

    Dewey,
    In the Eugene Registered Guard it states that the Nature Consenvancy it bidding 26 million for the Wildish 1200 acres to be used as a park. If m49 fails the Nature Conservancy will need to pay a much higher price to Wildish. It is in the Nature Conservancy’s interest to pass m49 so they can purchase properties at a lower than fair market value. The Nature Conservancy was at least fair about paying market value. Now they appear to be no different than any other environmental extremist group. Vote no on m49

  • Alden

    I am constantly seeing hundreds and hundreds of acres around Hillsboro being turned into multi-family unit developments that are developed by out-of-state money and mainly benefits the out-of-state investors and developers that don’t care about livability in Oregon or any other place in the world. I support people being able to divide their property so their children can set up homes on it if it is large enough. But, measure 37 has allowed for investors and developers to destroy our farms and forests so they can line their own greedy pockets with money. We are losing our enviornment, global warming and polution, and are becoming totally dependant on other countrys for food and other products that are proving un-safe from them. And, if relations disolve, we will not have those products at all. I am a republican that says we need Measure 49 to stop the greedy destruction of our lands by wealthy out-of-state investors and developers that care only about getting richer and are enabled to do it by Measure 37.

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