New property rights bill introduced


Oregon voters will decide this fall whether to substantially change Measure 37, the property compensation law they approved in 2004.

But legislators in Salem are trying to decide what happens to the law between now and November.

On Wednesday, Reps. Brian Clem, D-Salem, and Vicki Berger, R-Salem, offered a proposal to accelerate claims for up to three homes, but stem large-scale developments allowed under Oregon's property compensation law.

"This puts a hold on the most valuable land in the (Willamette) valley," Berger said. "Let's hold off on those big developments in those farmlands where the results are permanent."

It's unclear if the bill can generate enough support to pass; it arrived just nine days before the Legislature's scheduled adjournment.

Clem and Berger are proposing a bill almost identical to what voters will be faced with in November, but they are doing so now to head-off developers looking to begin development in the next few months under the current law which is less restrictive on development.

Under the rewrite, claimants who gained approval to build more than 10 dwellings &

and have already invested significant time and money &

can continue development. But the proposal introduced Wednesday would repeal that right until voters have had a chance to weigh in.

"No matter how far they are in the process, it eliminates their right to continue," said Dave Hunnicutt, president of Oregonians in Action, the property rights advocacy group that sponsored Measure 37 and opposes the rewrite.

Measure 37 requires that governments pay owners for property value lost from land-use regulations passed after the property was purchased.

If governments don't pay &

and claims against state and local governments have reached nearly $15 billion &

they must waive the restriction and allow development.


The bill is HB 3569.

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