With the 2006 general election over, Oregonians In Action has announced its preliminary agenda for the 2007 Legislative Session. With the passage of Ballot Measure 39, Oregonians In Action will focus its efforts on reforming Oregon’s unique land use system, and protecting the initiative process.
The top three priorities for Oregonians In Action all focus on returning Oregon’s land use system to its original purpose: allowing local communities to decide for themselves how their communities should look and grow.
Oregonians In Action will be advocating for changes in Oregon’s land use laws that will focus control of land use to local governments, instead of the centralized planning system Oregon currently operates under. When land use planning was sold to Oregonians in 1973, supporters of the new system of land use restrictions promised local governments would not lose control over planning. Oregonians In Action will be working with legislators to see to it that local governments regain control over land use planning.
Almost as important as restoring control of land use planning to local governments is the importance of regionalizing the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). For the last 20 years, LCDC has been dominated by a single-minded ideology that does not represent the views of the entire state. By regionalizing LCDC, the commission itself would be able to reflect the values of each area of the state, not just a narrow subset of Oregon.
Finally, Oregonians In Action’s focus over the years has been on relieving the pressure to develop land outside urban growth boundaries. Given the fact that fringe special interests have succeeded in delaying reasonable expansion of most urban growth boundaries, local governments have been forced to squeeze housing into existing urban growth boundaries in order to accommodate for the increase in population.
The result? A substantial decrease in housing choices for Oregon homeowners. Gone are the traditional neighborhoods and in their place are housing developments that one Democrat member of the Oregon Legislature described as “future suburban ghettos”. Oregonians In Action will make it a part of its 2007 Legislative Agenda to require a variety of housing options within an urban growth boundary, so that Oregonians can choose what type of neighborhood they want to live in, and not have that choice dictated to them by a bureaucrat in Salem.
In addition to these priorities, Oregonians In Action will continue to pursue real reform for rural land owners. Oregonians In Action will advocate for the adoption of a secondary lands bill that will allow property owners whose property is the least productive land in the state additional options for economic development.
In addition, Oregonians In Action will continue to advocate for the repeal of the arbitrary $80,000 farm income standard – a law not created by the Oregon Legislature, but by Salem bureaucrats.
Oregonians In Action is excited to represent home owners and property owners in the 2007 Oregon Legislative Session, and Oregonians In Action looks forward to a productive 2007 session.