Press release from House Republicans 9/10/07:
DEMOCRATS SHUT DOWN “˜BIG LOOK’ TASK FORCE,
EFFORTS TO REFORM STATE LAND-USE SYSTEM
Task Force Recognized “˜Fundamental Value’ of Private Property Rights
SALEM”” Oregon House Republicans today called for the restoration of the Big Look Task Force, a bipartisan panel charged with reviewing the state’s land-use system. At the end of the 2007 session, Democrats de-funded the task force so its work wouldn’t distract from efforts to gut Measure 37 and private property rights.
“Democrats want to kill any change in land-use planning, and they’re proved it by de-funding the Big Look Task Force” said Rep. Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls), former chair of the House Land Use Committee. “The Democrats initially supported the Big Look in 2005, yet the task force was shut down as soon as it expressed the need for reforms that respected private property rights.”
In its July 2007 Preliminary Findings and Recommendations, the Big Look Task Force found that Oregon’s land-use system is dated and the state’s land-use bureaucracy had lost focus on meeting Oregonians’ needs. The report recognized the “fundamental value” Oregonians place in private property rights, and the need to better leverage market-forces in achieving statewide planning goals.
“Democrats and their special interest supporters will not tolerate any talk of market-based reforms,” Rep. Garrard said. “The Democrats quiet “˜suspension’ of the Task Force simply shows they don’t share Oregonians’ values on protecting private property rights.”