From Oregonians In Action Alert 6/1/07:
The Oregon legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee approved additional amendments to House Bill 3540-B, the bill that would gut Measure 37.
Now that the Bill has been amended a third time, it will now be known as House Bill 3540C.
HB 3540C makes the following dramatic changes to Measure 37:
– If you have filed a Measure 37 claim, HB 3540C requires you to start all over again. Your claim, along with the time and money you’ve spent, will bewiped out, unless you can vest your rights to use your property before December, 2007.
– If you choose to refile your Measure 37 claim, you will be limited to a maximum of 3 new homesites, and you might not even get these! LCDC will decide how many homesites you qualify for, if any, will tell you where those homesites will go on your property, and will not allow homesites larger than 2 acres.
– If you choose to refile your Measure 37 claim, anyone can challenge your claim for any reason, no matter how frivolous, and even if you win, you will not recover your costs and attorney fees. The special interest groups that have made a living by suing property owners to stop them from using their land will have a field day with these amendments.
– If you have industrial or commercial property, or if you want to make a commercial or industrial use of your property, your claim is wiped out, and you get nothing. Not only that, you lose all protection against new land use regulations. It will be back to the old days, where your property could be taken without any opportunity for you to do anything about it!
– If a new land use regulation is adopted that takes your property, you will have to pay for lawyers and appraisers and jump through every hurdle the state and county can throw at you to get your property back. But what’s worse, you will also have to pay for the state and county’s lawyers and appraisers to try and defeat your claim! That’s right – they’ll take your property, and then charge you tens of thousands of dollars to give it back!
You would think that Governor Kulongoski and the legislature would have talked to the public about these changes, so the public would have an opportunity to comment on them. But these amendments were never presented to the public, who have been completely excluded from the backroom deals made with lobbyists in the Governor’s office that led to this bill.
And you would think that Governor Kulongoski would have worked with Democrats and Republicans to forge a bi-partisan compromise. But that hasn’t come to pass either. In fact, Governor Kulongoski has completely shut out Republican legislators from the process, and I fully expect that there will not be one Republican vote for this deeply flawed bill. That’s the way Governor Kulongoski makes a compromise.
There is one good piece of news, however. Despite twisting every arm he could, Governor Kulongoski could not convince enough legislators to make these changes on their own, and so House Bill 3540C will be referred to Oregon voters for a vote this November.
Because House Bill 3540C is so unfair and has so many significant flaws, it is unlikely that the bill will be approved by voters this November. But you can expect that the opponents of Measure 37 will say anything to win, regardless of whether it is true or not.
Remarkably, there is still time for someone with an ounce of common sense to convince Governor Kulongoski that playing partisan politics with people’s homes and property is not a good idea. If we can convince our legislators that House Bill 3540C is a bad idea, we can force Governor Kulongoski to work with all legislators to come up with a real solution that is fair to everyone….
If you have any questions, give me a call.
Oregonians In Action