Property-rights measure overturned

Stapilus, Randy
November 2005
High Country News;11/14/2005, Vol. 37 Issue 21, p6
This article reports that according to a new ruling, Oregon's property-rights Measure 37, passed by voters in 2004, was unconstitutional. The decision came on October 14, 2005. According to the measure, landowners were allowed to demand compensation from the state or local government if they believed they'd lost property value due to land-use regulations. It also allowed them to demand waiving of those regulations. Oregon's land-use regulations have long been a target for property-rights boosters. A 2002 constitutional amendment similar to Measure 37 was thrown out by the courts, but proponents believed that 37 was bulletproof. Marion County Judge Mary James disagreed and she ruled that the measure was not constitutional. It violated both state and federal constitutions. She said, Measure 37 requires the government to pay if it wants to enforce valid land use regulations and it means that the government must pay to govern. This the legislative body cannot do. She also said that 37 violated separation of powers requirements and applied unequally to property owners.


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