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Vote No aon Measure 49, Commentaries in Capital Press 10/26/07

Why vote yes if measure is flawed?

Why vote yes on a Measure that the Capital Press even admits is flawed? The major flaw is that Measure 49 will not “protect the long term viability of agriculture in Oregon.”

Only being able to make a profit and not pay such high costs in rules, regulations and taxes will do that. All Measure 49 does is eliminate the compensation component of our rigid land use regulations and make it possible for any special interests to dictate the use of everyone’s land without having to pay for it. This is not protecting farmland or anyone else.

More than 15 local, state and national environmental groups support Measure 49. They are successfully using the farm community again to pursue their agenda. “Being fair and saving farm and forest land” are only buzz words.

Remember Snagboat Bend in Peoria? In 2000, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was the willing seller to the government. Over 200 acres of prime farmland was lost to a beginning young farmer.

By supporting Measure 49 you are giving away your control (ownership of private property) to special interests and government agencies who will eventually dictate what you can or cannot do with your property and pay you nothing. Vote no on Measure 49.

Deanna Dyksterhuis Newport, Ore.


Measure 49 limits your property rights

Vote no on Measure 49. This measure takes away property rights. We as Americans have always believed in property rights. If Measure 49 passes you will be told how many homes you can have on your property and where, by soil types. Regardless of how many years you have owned the property and if in the past years you have purchased adjoining property, it will become one parcel, even though you have separate deeds. A pamphlet I received the other day from Governor Kulongoski’s office stated if the present law was left intact, it would cost the state of Oregon billions of dollars. That is not true. Unless the state purchased all of our present property rights the opposite is true. Property that would be developed would provide millions of additional tax dollars for the county and school budgets.

Oregon Farm Bureau Federation’s philosophy states, “Property rights are among the most basic known rights essential to the preservation of individual freedom.” Measure 49 limits your rights.

Vote no on Ballot Measure 49.

Webster Briggs Myrtle Creek, Ore.


Appalled that Legislature was fooled

My family has invested a lot of time and money in our Measure 37 claim. We have been approved by the county and state, but stand to lose that approval if environmental extremists have their way.

These extremists infiltrated the Legislature, and convinced Democratic legislators they should send Measure
49 to Oregon voters for the November ballot. Measure 49 will all but repeal Measure 37, and overturn the voice of 61% of Oregon voters who supported Measure 37’s protection of property rights.

Measure 37 made Oregon’s land use system fair to property owners who have dreamed for decades about using it in the manner they bought it for. Everyone who has battled the overly- restrictive land use laws in Oregon understand that Measure 37 is necessary. The changes Measure 49 proposes are truly unfair to Oregonians. Measure 49 must be stopped.

It is appalling that the Legislature would be so easily fooled by these extremists and ignore the Oregonians they represent. I will be voting NO on Measure 49; I hope that other Oregonians who still believe their property is worth protecting do the same.

Marjorie Richardson Rickreall, Ore


Figuring out the impact of measure 49

By Vern Ratzlaff

Oregon Measure 37 was passed by 61% of the voters in 2004. Measure 49 is the Legislative Democrats’ 24-page answer to the voters’three page Measure 37. Based on my research, compare the current M37 law with the proposed M49 “fix.” (See the chart on the right).

While doing my research, I find nothing in past law (SB 10, SB 100, 14 Goals and Guidelines of 1975, SB 3661) that says those laws allow transferability, so why does M37 have to define transferability to allow property to be transfered? It has been understood for years that land and its use is transferable.

Why does this Willamette Valley need 50,000 acres of land set aside for grapes? No other crop has this protection. We are seeing our hillsides ripped up 6 feet deep, unnecessary erosion, and new irrigation wells going in on water limited areas to produce a product in a bottle that says, “Can be harmful to your health.” Maybe we need to initiate a new tax on wine to help with our health care system.

I have farmed in Polk County for 45 years. My wife, Jean, and I have invested in hill property zoned Agriculture- residence 5 acres next to our farm. We wanted to control how the property was divided so as to have a minimum effect on our farm. Thirty years later, we have seen our land down-zoned three times plus numerous ruling changes. We believe that property rights are very important for all of us. They should not be manipulated every time the legislature addresses the subject. Ever since SB100 was passed in 1973, we have seen loss in value and use without compensation. Farmers cannot and should not be legislated into farming. If this state had promoted agriculture and the timber industry the last 30 years instead of trying to regulate the use of the land and drive all land prices up, then then there would not be as many proposed sub-divisions today.

But like they told us from the beginning, planning is a control issue, not protecting our property rights. They just use agriculture as a smoke screen.

Please vote no on Measure 49.

Vern Ratzlaff and his wife Jean farm in Polk County near Monmouth, Ore. Figuring out the impact of Measure 49

Readers’ views
ISSUE                                                                                                                                                                                                            CURRENT LAW                    PROPOSED M49
1. Partition/land use applications go to County of Property New State department in Salem
2. Who processes claim Existing County staff New State dept. staff
3. How qualified to make determination County knows properties State “one size fits all” approach
4. Cost of application In Polk County, about $350 State, about $5,000
5. Time limit to process claim 180 days No time limit
6. Compensation or waivers for past losses Yes Very limited
7. Compensation or waivers for future losses Yes Very limited
8. Allows for commercial use Yes None, only residences
9. Allows for industrial uses Yes None, only residences
10. Allows for uses other than above Yes None
11. Applicant pays opponents appeal costs No Yes, and possible appraisals
12. Protects lands for specific crops No Yes
13. Of Oregon’s 200+ crops, which crops All Grapes
14. Contributions by vineyard operators None identified One grape grower reported giving
$800,000.00 to Yes on M49 campaign
15. Who determines size of parcels Applicant State, most will have a 2-acre limit
regardless of size of parent parcel on most Willamette Valley soils
16. Where are 2-acre parcels allowed on property Applicant decides Determined by State
17. If three, 2-acre parcels allowed, where on plat will they go Applicant decides State decides
where, and they must be clustered in one spot — could be in the back corner, away from roads or utilities
and well.
18. What happens to land not used by 3 2-acre cluster Applicant decides Must leave in present
use. All land is used in partitions. An additional 4th parcel is left over to fend for itself.
19. Will M37 law be gutted if M49 passes Almost Some M49 claims will only be
allowed if they were allowed with M37, so some M37 applications will have to still go through court to
determine if they qualify for M49 claims.
20. Are properties transferable Yes, by law Seems to be yes


Do as government says, not as it does

As a farmer/landowner on Sauvie Island, what does the passage of Measures 37 or 49 mean: Do either allow Oregon flexibility in achieving common sense land use planning while preserving private property rights?
1. Will cities no longer be able to move their urban growth boundaries into farm and forest lands, which are the only lands available?
2. Will cities no longer be able to buy farm ground for other uses such as wastewater control, open spaces, parks or schools?
3. Does it mean cities have to stay within their now growth boundaries and stagnate?
4. Will the small farmlands have a huge increase in value because there will be no longer be small acreage available? Will they still qualify for farm deferral? Does it mean no new development such as store/gift/coffee shop allowed outside an urban growth boundary?
5. What is the future for rural Oregon? Our farm has been in our family since 1960. While I enjoy farming, our neighbor has been able to subdivide farmland as small as a 1.75 acre parcel while I have been zoned 78 acres. I may not want to subdivide now, but my children may since they don’t want to farm.

One of the main problems with zoning whether M49 or M37, is that they forgot to save the fulltime farmer.

Over the years farm products have not increased with the rest of inflation and do not cover production costs. As a farmer today, products are on a world market and increased costs are hard to pass on. If a farmer was allowed to sell a small portion of their farmland they could use the money for crop failures, health problems or retirement and would not have to sell the whole farm. Afarmer today is hard put to buy farmland because the price will not support the land payment and make a living on. Most farmland around cities is not owned by farmers but investment groups and farmers who rent this land to farm do so at a discounted rate as compared to owning it. Are these more zoning laws that say “Do as government says, not as government does.”

Don Anderson Portland


Why I will vote no on M49

When Oregon voters passed Measure 37 with an overwhelming majority, it seemed clear the voters felt some corrections were needed to Oregon land use laws.

When Measure 49 was passed out of Legislature it was done in a very partisan, undemocratic way, with closed hearings, disregard for opposing viewpoints and, as a final insult, the so-called “big look” on the land use laws committee was stopped, as it was not going in the direction favored by the ‘so-called’1000 Friends of Oregon.

 Peter Jensen Halsey, Ore.


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