Metolean machinations

From State Senator Ted Ferrioli

Last week in his official capacity as Land Conservation and Development Commission Director, former Assistant Attorney General Richard Whitman visited my office to inform me that the Governor has directed him to create the “Metolian Overlay” with the effect of prohibiting destination resorts anywhere in the Metolius basin.

Whitman described a never-before-used process for designating an “area of statewide concern” through staged public hearings, presumably to be held in Portland and Bend to build a record of support for the overlay.

According to Whitman, the outcome of the public input process is irrelevant: The Metolean Overlay is preordained. When pressed, he asserted that no other outcome would be allowed by the Governor, by LCDC or by the process.

Trouble is that Jefferson County has already approved a destination resorts overlay in an extensive public process that has already withstood multiple legal and administrative challenge.

With the Metolean Overlay, the rule of law, due process and the right of local government to self-determine for land use decisions is suspended.

The Bend Bulletin has editorialized rightly on this issue: If the decision is already made, if the outcome is predetermined, why bother with public input?