>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

The Observer 11/17/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow House pushes development in rural zones

Print

House pushes development in rural zones

By James Sinks#

WesCom Capitol Reporter

SALEM — The Oregon House of Representatives Thursday approved legislation that would ease land use restrictions outside of city growth boundaries.

The proposal, which faces a tougher go in the Senate, would allow counties to open some 1,170 square miles of rural-zoned land — roughly the same amount of space that's inside all of the state's cities — to large-scale development including motels, industrial plants, houses and big-box retail stores of any size.

Champions of the idea, who include the real estate industry, developers and the Oregon Association of Counties, say the change could help jumpstart the state's drooping economy, return local planning control to counties and lead to more property taxes.

The potentially affected areas — categorized as rural-residential and rural-industrial lands — are already zoned for some kind of low-density development.

The legislation does not affect farm and forest-zoned parcels.

"One of the largest impediments to economic growth and job creation in rural Oregon is our statewide land use planning system," said Rep. Tootie Smith, R-Molalla, the chief sponsor.

"Oregon cannot afford to continue to go down the path that we have so blindly gone down through the past three decades."

Randy Tucker, lobbyist for 1000 Friends of Oregon, said some lawmakers are using the state's tough financial times to "blow holes" in one of the nation's highest-regarded systems for ensuring orderly growth.

He said his group opposes the bill, but supports other legislative efforts to help increase the state's inventory of industrial sites.

Former state Rep. Hector Macpherson, one of the sponsors of the original 1973 land use legislation, said the bill would effectively render meaningless urban growth boundaries, those invisible lines that discourage

n Continued from Page 1

sprawl by keeping urban-style development within cities.

Macpherson sat in the gallery overlooking the House floor as the bill passed by a 36-to-21 tally, shaking his head.

"This destroys the basis of everything we were trying to do in urban areas," he said glumly.

When former Gov. Tom McCall, the architect of the system, called for a statewide planning program he said it would prevent "sagebrush subdivisions" where haphazard development and leaky septic systems threaten groundwater.

Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego, the son of the former lawmaker, said legislators must not sell out the state's environmental legacy. "If we enact this bill we risk turning Oregon into anywhere U.S.A.," he said. "I believe Oregon is a special place and I believe in keeping it so."

Harlan Levy, a lobbyist for the Oregon Association of Realtors, said opponents are exaggerating the impact the bill would have. Market forces will not allow all of the acreage in question to be developed, he said.

Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, declared a potential conflict of interest before voting for the bill because he runs a private development business and could ultimately profit if it becomes law.

Sponsor Tootie Smith said lawmakers who didn't endorse the idea were standing in the way of Oregon's economic recovery. "This will result in the creation of jobs where they are needed the most and stimulate rural economies through increases in property taxes," she said. "I don't believe this body can afford to ignore responsible legislation that would expand the tax

base."

Print

blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

where can i download the indesign cs3 for cheap? buy mac os x 10.5 leopard buy rosetta stone hindi purchase microsoft office enterprise 2007 http://www.taftcollege.edu/academic/math... price of ms office 2010 parallels desktop 10 download purchase adobe acrobat xi extended cost of office 2007 enterprise
buy windows 7 retail or oem download premiere elements 12 military discount office 2007
  • purchase windows xp home edition product key http://ncea-linux.usq.edu.au/ipart/graph... http://ncea-linux.usq.edu.au/ipart/graph...
  • nik software silver efex pro 2 mac http://www.ueapme.com/?hosturl=2711&gray... best buy rosetta stone
      buy microsoft office project standard 2013 http://science.upm.edu.my/biology/index1... used rosetta stone spanish for sale