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Measure 49 and the future of great rides

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 2nd, 2007 at 9:43 am

Map of Washington County.
Purple represents Measure 37
development claims.
(Graphic: Yes on 49)

With just a few days left to turn in ballots (deadline is Tuesday night!), I hope everyone out there has voted.

I also hope you've all filled in the bubble for "Yes" on Measure 49.

Measure 49 is the effort to fix the infamously flawed Measure 37 (check out this page for more background).

Sensible and smart land-use planning is key to preserving Oregon's livability, not to mention that unchecked development of our rural areas -- which are home to many fantastic bike routes -- would be a nightmare. Don't believe me? Check out the maps of where some Measure 37 claims have popped up.

One reader wrote in and put it this way:

"When I look at some of the maps of Measure 37 claims, the risk of losing some amazing cycling areas (in particular in Washington and Yamhill country) blows me away. For example, the area north of 26 in Washington County out towards Forest Grove has a few fantastic rides which look ripe to become a suburban hell if Measure 49 does not pass."

There are just a few days left, so pedal on down to the Post Office and drop off your ballot ASAP.

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Comments
  • a.O November 2, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Please vote Yes on 49!

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  • Eric November 2, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Voting YES on 49 is crucial, but please don\'t stop there.

    Call 10 friends and be sure that they send in their ballot.

    Canvass or phone bank this weekend for the campaign (503.288.5426) or
    Yes on 49

    We could lose this because of low voter turnout in the metro area. Please don\'t let that happen!

    Thanks for the post, Jonathan!

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  • Spencer November 2, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Along highway 8 to the coast, you can see where people have started to develop land to meet the \"in significant progress\" standard and get grandfathered in, in case measure 49 passes. From one vantage point I counted 4 wood lots that had been cut and earth moving equipment was preparing the sites for construction. Imagine what that scene will be like if 49 doesn\'t pass?

    Go see for your self, and please vote yes.

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  • Bicycledave November 2, 2007 at 10:14 am

    It is very important to vote every election, but 49 makes this election very important for Oregon\'s future. If there\'s not enough time to mail your ballot take it to your local library or county elections office.

    Vote yes on 49.

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  • destin November 2, 2007 at 10:53 am

    very odd.

    the wife an i still have not received our ballets, we live in inner se.

    anyone in the buckman hood receive their ballots?

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  • Trevor Stewart November 2, 2007 at 10:59 am

    One of the things that bugs me about the whole Measure 37 and Measure 49 debate is landowners routinely claiming themselves to be victims. It is like some drivers who say help me \"bikes are taking over.\"

    The politically incorrect truth that no one seems to mention is that landowners on either side of the Measure 37/49 debate are not victims, they are in fact the privileged by the mere fact they own land. You\'d have to be a financial idiot not to make money on land speculation.

    So why should we give up our collective right to sensibly plan our communities in order to guarantee profitable returns to a few land speculators who have made bad investment decisions? That\'s essentially what Measure 37 does.

    Measure 49 is a modest step back to balance.... and yes it will certainly make the future more bike-friendly.

    Trevor

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  • BikingViking November 2, 2007 at 11:43 am

    This measure is beyond huge, and I can\'t emphasize enough the importance that everyone vote. Talk to all your friends. Turnout is abysmal so far, especially in the urban core, where we need it most.

    Destin, I\'m from Buckman and I got my ballot a while back. You should call the Multnomah county elections board and see what happened. Worse case scenario, go down to the county building on election day and cast a provisional ballot.

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  • woogie November 2, 2007 at 11:57 am

    While I agree with the measure, characterizing property owners as land speculators is just way off base.

    Most property owners are regular folk who do need property value protection.

    And for many of those regular folk that property is their investment in their retirement. Taking a hit on that investment can have life changing impacts.

    The fault with measure 37 was that is was so loosely written that it has been abused.

    But don\'t label property owners as speculators out to make a buck. The majority are home owners trying to provide a nice place to live for their families.

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  • a.O November 2, 2007 at 11:59 am

    \"And for many of those regular folk that property is their investment in their retirement. Taking a hit on that investment can have life changing impacts.\"

    And that\'s why Measure 49 was written specifically to allow the sort of development that will protect those folks.

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  • Jere November 2, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    woogie-
    \"But don\'t label property owners as speculators out to make a buck. The majority are home owners trying to provide a nice place to live for their families.\"

    woogies, those people aren\'t the issue..the issue is with the land owners selling HUGE acreage to provide OTHER people people with nice places for their families..the potential impact of urban sprawl if this is unchecked is ENORMOUS..
    the claims our around HIllsboro and Forest Grove are HUGE...does HWY 26 need more traffic? how bout I-5 south out of Tualatin or Wilsonville? check out the current property claims map...its true frightening if it all becomes stripmalls and condo associations so these land owners can retire more comfortably...
    this measure needs to PASS.

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  • Laura November 2, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    We did the Harvest Century a few weeks back. It was really an eye-opener, if you looked at the route in the context of Measures 37 and 49. What could this ride look like in 10 years with yes? with no?

    Interesting to note along the route, was that signs on rural land in Clackamas and Washington Counties seemed to favor NO on 49, while signs on similar land in Yamhill and Marion favored YES.

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  • destin November 2, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    thanks BikingViking

    i will give them a call.
    i wonder how many others did not receive a ballot, i hope my case is a strange hiccup.

    thanks

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  • Nelson Muntz November 2, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Measure 49 is going to have a huge impact on Oregon either way. Failure opens the floodgates for mass development that sullies the state forever. Passage protects lands and vistas but also insures that most working class folks in the Portland area will never own a home.

    I have really struggled with how to vote on this one. It is tough to pick the lesser of two evils here: Resource rapists like land developers and timber companies or the \"progressive\" wealthy landed gentry like 1000 Friends of Oregon that already own the American Dream and want to keep the little people doing the same.

    I tend to favor conservation but that likely means that Oregon in 2027 will be largely populated by equity rich retirees from California since high housing prices and low wages forced working families to move elsewhere.

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  • Matt Picio November 2, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks, Laura (#11) for mentioning Harvest Century. Near the end of the Harvest Century, there is an area just north of Newburg that illustrates very clearly what the effects would be (I\'m sure you know where I\'m talking about) - on the left side is a large school and block after block of subdivisions with large homes on postage-stamp lots. On the right, pure farmland. That section happens to sit right along the urban growth boundary, and is a perfect example of how the UGB has inluenced and contained unrestrained \"leapfrog\" development in the area.

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  • woogie November 2, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Jere,

    I didn\'t disagree with the measure. I took issue with posting 6 claiming all landowners were speculators just out to make a quick buck. The post read straight out of the communist manifesto. Those privileged few who own land. They have no rights. The land belongs to all of us.

    And sure there are speculators out there, who have twisted measure 37, but they didn\'t make it law. It was made law by regular folks, property owners, voting to protect their property rights and values, from changes made to land use regulations pertaining to their property. And those people should still have those rights.

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  • woogie November 2, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    The urban growth boundary laws are a mess all unto themselves.

    I bought into the first phase of a development in Sherwood Or. The lot sizes were 5000 sq ft. That size was approved by the town and was a reduction from the previous requirement of 7000 sq ft. Phase two of the same subdivision reduced the size of the lots again to 4000 sq ft.

    So you end up with extremely high density housing in these small towns. And who can blame them from wanting to increase their tax base. Oregon is a state where people want to relocate. And that means we need new housing for all those new folks who want to contribute to our economy.

    Part of the problem is going to be land use laws. We have too much traffic on 26, I5 and 205, but those are the roads that lead to the places we can work. I\'d love to have a company build their campus south of Portland on the 99 corridor. But try and get approval for that kind of building.

    With the price of housing going up, people are having to move further and further south to afford a home. Wouldn\'t it be great if people in Newburg didn\'t have to drive all the way to Protland to work. Just think of the environmental impact of driving half as far. Or maybe even being able to ride your bike to work.

    Land use is always going to be an issue in this state with our continued population growth.

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  • jonno November 2, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    I\'m a volunteer with the Yes on 49 campaign. Even though I\'m an introvert, I find that canvassing and phone banking are pretty easy and highly effective! If you really care about Measure 49, here\'s some info about volunteering for GOTV efforts:

    We have just a few days left of voting and not nearly enough voter turnout to assure us a victory on Measure 49. We\'ve come this far, please help us get the job done.

    It\'s really easy to help -- we\'ll give you a friendly neighborhood to walk door-to-door, reminding people about the deadline to vote. As you know, many busy people place their election ballots in a pile and don\'t remember exactly when they are due back. We need to ring their doorbell and remind them.

    Ballots must be received no later than 8:00 PM this coming Tuesday, November 6th. Folks can still get it in the mail on Saturday, but after that it needs to be dropped the library or another of the official drop sites. You can still vote in person up until 8 pm election night at the elections office (SE 11th and Morrison). They\'re really nice and helpful!

    Can you help for just a few hours? Click here to sign up to volunteer and we\'ll work out with you where and when to go. We really need your help.

    And thanks again for your hard work, time, energy and financial support for this campaign. We have a great shot at winning, but only if more people vote.

    If you\'d like to join us for election night returns, we will be thanking our wonderful volunteers and donors at:

    McMenamins Kennedy School
    5736 NE 33rd Ave.
    Portland, OR 97211
    7:30 PM

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  • Michael M. November 2, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    One of the things I have the most trouble wrapping my head around since I moved back to Portland two years ago is the whole ballot initiative nightmare. It strikes me that time and again these initiatives represent little more than the tyranny of the majority and/or the tyranny of those with most money. They try to shove state-wide regulations down a diverse set of communities and environments where local regulation would be both more fair and more flexible. It seems to me they are just more ways people try to tell other people what they can and can\'t do with their own property, how they can or can\'t live their own lives. These initiatives, particularly the controversial ones, just end up bringing out our worst instincts and setting neighbor against neighbor, or some parts of the state against others.

    IMO, Measure 37 was a bad idea, Measure 49 is a bad idea. I wouldn\'t have voted for the former if I\'d lived here then, and I won\'t vote for the latter now that I do.

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  • jonno November 2, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Michael M. (#18)-

    If you would\'ve voted against Measure 37, please reconsider your vote against Measure 49. You\'re right that M37 was a bad idea, but it\'s law now. M49 goes a long way towards blunting the worst flaws of M37. Without it, M37 goes ahead in all of its reckless glory.

    Again, I urge you to reconsider the practical effects of voting down a law to fix the bad effects of the law you didn\'t support in the first place.

    Thanks!

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  • G.A.R. November 2, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Please remind cyclists you encounter on the road to vote. Motorists too (if their vehicles are small enough or bumperstickered enough to suggest a yea vote).

    It helps to practice in front of a mirror until you don\'t feel silly.

    Last I heard, women were especially slow this season to turn in their ballots, so you might make more of a point of it with those females.

    And when you leave progressive-leaning hangouts (say, Stumptown rather than Starbucks) you should say in a loud voice, \"Hey everybody, don\'t forget to vote. It\'s important.\"

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  • erin g. November 2, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    IMPORTANT NEWS: Word from a friend/insider is that, despite the outstanding amount of ‘Yes on 49’ talk, press, and signage within the Portland area, ballot turn out is \"exceptionally low\" thus far, with the majority of replies coming from outlying areas. The individual also said that the majority of votes tallied to date have come from older age groups, that there is a gender discrepancy (more men than women have voted thus far!), and that turnout among the younger demographic is very low at this point.

    So, what are we going to do about this?!

    PLEASE take a moment from your day, no matter how busy, to email all of your friends RIGHT NOW, reminding them that the deadline for sending/submitting ballots is at hand.

    Vote YES on Measure 49!

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  • BikingViking November 2, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Nelson Muntz,
    You bring up a commonly heard point about housing prices. I’m a scientist who loves numbers, and I hope I can shed a little bit of light on the subject. There have been comparative studies between Portland and similar-sized cities without an urban growth boundary (UGB) to see it the UGB drives up housing prices. What they’ve found is that the UGB tends to increase density (i.e., more condos and small lots), but has little effect on price volatility. In other words, housing prices have gone up about the same amount in Seattle and Las Vegas, despite their lack of UGB’s.

    Having said that, this is a correlative study. It is impossible to have a true control to see what would have happened with Portland housing prices had our land use laws never passed in the early seventies. But what evidence we do have points to a minimal effect.

    The best way to not price out lower income families is to support local politicians like Erik Sten and Gretchen Kafoury who advocate voraciously for low-income housing.

    Michael M,
    I’m not sure I understand your logic. If you would not have voted for measure 37, why not vote for 49 so as to mitigate its effects?

    Everyone please vote!

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  • woogie November 2, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    It\'s tyranny of the majority, but it really is tyranny of the I-5 corridor. The Metro Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene voting block can pretty much win any ballot initiative.

    But the initiative system is one we are stuck with unless we want our state representatives in the house and senate to actually work full time at governing this state.

    As it is they sit only once every two years with one goal, the state budget and they rarely get that done on time. If we want any type of legislation in this state outside of the time the legislature sits we have to do it ourselves.

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  • Dan (teknotus) November 2, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I\'m not at all comfortable knocking on the doors of stranger\'s homes, but this is something I feel strongly enough about that I went canvassing for the first time in my life. The developed land in Washington county would more than double if this doesn\'t pass. This isn\'t well thought out development. We\'re talking thousands of acers so far away from emergency services to be considered unprotected. Land without water, or sewage, or any plans to create, or fund such things. Homes where people have to drive 5 miles one way to get to the nearest store. As someone who watched the forrest I played in as a child clearcut to build McMansions, there are few things I could feel more strongly about.

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  • jonno November 2, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Dan (#24) brings up an excellent point. Land use planning exists for a reason -- unplanned development imposes burdens on the community at large but generally benefits only a small number of individuals.

    When Stimson lumber starts building subdivisions near Banks (see the map of M37 claims), who\'s going to run the sewer lines to the treatment plant? If they use septic tanks, who\'s going to protect water quality? Who\'s going to upgrade the roads and signals for all the new traffic? Where are the schools going to be built? These are just some of the practical questions that M37 fails to answer, and M49 will prevent from having to be asked.

    Vote Yes on 49!

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  • woogie November 2, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Biking Viking,

    The UGB causes high density by limiting the land available for development. This then increases the value of any land within the UGB. This means that what you now get for an average home in the area is a lot less land for a lot more money.

    We don\'t have volatility in Portland, if you define volatility as fluctuations in price. Our prices don\'t fluctuate they just keep going up, because it is still a high demand location, just as Seattle is.

    And would the price of property rise in an area without UGB. I\'m sure it would, but the average home would probably come on a lot bigger than a postage stamp.

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  • BikingViking November 2, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Woogie,

    Housing volatility, the way I understand it (I’m a hydrologist, not an economist) reflects the ability of housing prices to move quickly, regardless of the direction.

    In regards to lot sizes, you’re right that lots tend to be smaller with the urban growth boundary (that’s the very definition of density, which is what I’m advocating). But I don’t necessarily see that as a negative. If you give me the choice between a 5,000 sq ft lot in a well-planned community with nearby parks, commerce, bike trails and mass transit and a 8,000 sq ft lot where I have to drive 20 minutes to the nearest strip mall to get my groceries, I’ll take the former every time.

    I realize that not everyone feels that way, but this is what M49 is all about. Do we want planned communities designed around the common good surrounded by productive farmland and forests? Or do we want to give greater credence to property rights and live with the resulting consequences?

    For my 2 cents, the urban growth boundary is a big part of makes the Portland metro area as livable as it is, and I’d like that maintained.

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  • Nelson Muntz November 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    But Measure 49 would allow people to turn their 30 acre farm in North Plains into a half dozen \"mini estates\" with energy sucking 6000 square foot McMansions with four car garages. Why not allow the local zoning authorities decide if that or 150 energy efficient and affordable single family homes would serve the community better? Reign in the unlimited chaos of M37 for sure but don\'t create statewide land use rules that either force landowners to remain unprofitable farmers, dictate that their heirs can only use the land for farming, or only serve those with the means to buy million dollar homes.

    No one likes the idea of stripping a forest to build a Wal-Mart SuperCenter but forcing the working classes to pay rent forever seems morally wrong as well.

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  • Debbie November 2, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Well, most of you seem to feel that land belongs to everyone. Our founding fathers didn\'t and I don\'t. If this state wants to take away the rights people have then we need to look real hard at ourselves.

    49 is going to take away from every person who currently owns or aspires to own real estate. If you have a postage stamp lot or 3,000 acres it will apply equally. You lose rights. When you buy a piece of real estate you investigate what you can and can\'t do with it.

    SB 100 the base of the land use policy here ultimately was like the government walking into your savings account and seizing 90% of your funds. They don\'t move it (it\'s still in your account) but you\'re prohibited from it. You get no benifit from it but you are required to still pay taxes on it and tend to it.

    While a bank account is easy to attend to a small piece of acreage is not, espically if you have given up and moved out of Oregon. No one will buy your land. The state had built into SB 100 a section to financially compensate those property owners they were getting ready to take from. They knew where this would lead, they knew they were pitting neighbor against neighbor. They swept the compensation under the rug and left it there to mold. Which is why we\'re here today.

    I beleive 37 was the best attempt to assist those from pre SB 100. I do not believe 49 is good for Oregon. There were no public hearings on it, only on what was wrong with 37. 49 has far too many lies in it for me. I did vote- I voted NO on 49.

    If you are looking to have rural land to ride your bikes on then perhaps there needs to be a several hundred dollar per year government fee per bike, to fund buying the land from the owners.

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  • Eric November 2, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Nelson (#28),

    I\'m sorry, you seem to not understand M 49 very well. Not sure where you get the impression that M 49 \"would allow people to turn their 30 acre farm in North Plains into a half dozen \"mini estates\" with energy sucking 6000 square foot McMansions with four car garages.\"

    In fact, since the North Plains area is high-value farmland, a M 37 claimant could build up to 3 houses if they could have done so when they purchased their property. if they have an existing house on that property, then they would only be able to build two new houses.

    As for forcing landowners to remain unprofitable farmers, what evidence do you have to support that claim? The Oregon Farm Bureau - which sat out the Measure 37 campaign - is actively involved in the Yes on 49 campaign (as are many county farm bureaus) precisely because the future of of agriculture and family-owned farms in Oregon is at stake.

    Measure 49 is not perfect, but it\'s a well crafted compromise that fixes the terribly abusive flaws of Measure 37.

    Please vote YES on 49.

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  • BikingViking November 2, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    I wish we were sitting at a bar enjoying a beer, as it is difficult to have this conversation in this venue.

    Nelson Muntz,
    If someone files a Measure 37 claim, the local zoning authorities do not have a say in what is built, provided there is no endangerment of public health. Farmer John and his developer could choose to put up 3 modest homes, 6 McMansions or a 100 unit housing development.

    I also want to emphasize that Measure 49 does not create any new zoning laws per se, it just mitigates which laws people with Measure 37 claims can ignore. No one will be worse off then before Measure 37 passed if Measure 49 passes, and most of those with Measure 37 claims will still benefit.

    Your point about the farmer being forced to farm unproductive land is well taken. With any change in land use laws there are winners and losers. But you also have to take into account the losers of Measure 37. Imagine a small farmer who finds that his neighbors have filed to build massive subdivisions around his farm. Soon he will be forced to drive his tractor through more traffic, endure complaints about the farm noises and smells, maybe even be subject to more vandalism.

    I agree that home ownership is a important step out of poverty, but I don’t think rejecting Measure 49 is going to help keep home prices down much, if at all. Developers tend to not build many homes for low-income people unless they are legislatively mandated to do so. It’s far more profitable to build expensive houses. Were we to repeal all of the Oregon land use laws tomorrow, new homes would be built a little bigger and a little further away, but I don’t think you’d see priced plummet. If you really want to keep lower income families from being priced out of the region and promoting home ownership, advocate for affordable housing. If there are laws that developers have to build 20% of their homes and condos at affordable prices, that will become the cost of doing development business here.

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  • Dr. Mark Ross November 2, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Yes on 49 please!

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  • Another Doug November 2, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Debbie #29. I\'d like to buy the upwind lot from you and put in a cattle feedlot. I trust you\'d support me in doing that.

    Seriously, there must always be a balance between private property rights and the good of the whole. While there have been problems with Oregon\'s land use planning program, Measure 37 completely eliminated the balance and, if 49 doesn\'t pass, it is very unlikely that there will another opportunity to restore the balance.

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  • wsbob November 2, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    I wonder how long it will be before any of the thousands of acres of Oregon land covered with asphalt are ever returned to woodland, forest land or farmland. Probably about the same amount of time it will be before commercial timberland is returned to real, honest to god forestland. Basically, once land is paved, or harvested for timber, or has a housing development, or has a shopping center on it, the land is done in terms of ever again having any semblance of natural life upon it.

    Ideas and laws and regulations related to land use and ownership is an evolving part of Oregon\'s future. These things aren\'t stopping with the approval or not of M49. The pressure for improved clarification of rights associated with land ownership is going to increase with time. Obliged by that pressure, Oregon residents are going to have to be moved to take an increasingly greater role in deciding how land within Oregon\'s borders will be best utilized to sustain those attributes of the state widely admired and held in high regard.

    I\'m voting for M49 because it\'s an acceptable stop-gap measure to the infamous one that precipitated it. May everyone that values quality of life provided by Oregon\'s vast, incomparable beauty do similarly.

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  • Cøyøte November 3, 2007 at 8:09 am

    \"Property is theft!\"

    Pierre-Joseph Proudhon 1840

    The sad thing is that 37 does not require zoning authorities to allow development outside current zoning. It merely requires that zoning authority compensate the owner for the loss in value.

    A government with vision, and the populace that supported the measure had years to develop funds to these compensate these owners. Instead we threw up our hands and pouted. What should have happened is a state-wide bond should have been purchased to fulfill the 37 claims. No vision among our leaders and no guts on our part has pointed us to a New Jersey like place. Shudder!

    Let\'s save what we can: \"Yes on 49\"

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  • kg November 3, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Debbie #29: I own real estate and measure 49 will take nothing from me. It will protect what I own by preventing others from devaluing my property to make a quick buck.
    Most of the measure 37 claims are in valuable farmland. When the regulations were changed this land was rezoned and the property owners have been paying reduced taxes on that land ever since. Now they want to be able to develop it and use that tax structure as a subsidy.

    Many studies have shown that this land has increased at about the same rate as other property so why exactly should I vote no for measure 49?

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  • rev November 3, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Debbie was totally like: \"49 has far too many lies in it for me. I did vote- I voted NO on 49.\"

    if anything the meausre 49 people could be harranged for running TOO clean a campaign. The opponets of 49 are creating such inaccuracies they cause people to stammer and blush and that may be what ends up loosing this issue.

    Jonathan, thanks for encouraging people to vote and debate. Interest local politics are part of what makes our stare awesome. And if you like it in other states I would perfer you leave than build another parking lot.

    I was born and raised in rural Oregon. My family has owned land out here for several generations.

    Im Voting Yes on 49.

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  • wsbob November 3, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    \"Well, most of you seem to feel that land belongs to everyone. Our founding fathers didn\'t...\" Debbie

    Oh really? That\'s news to me. I thought they embraced the idea of one nation united. That implies a certain common ownership of everything the concept encompasses. Property ownership both entitles and carries limitations.

    In regards to woogies (comment #8) response to the question of whether landowners are also land speculators; Yes they are. For most people, speculation is among the basic motives for owning land. Certainly not every land owner is a land broker with multiple properties looking to make a killing on the market, but most land owners to some degree probably bank on their property appreciating in value, thus providing them with a profit they might not otherwise have had.

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  • SA November 4, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Debbie:

    Externalities.

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  • Andrew Plambeck November 4, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Grew up in Washington County, and would like to ride those picturesque rural roads again in the future. I don\'t have the same desire to ride through a Wal-Mart parking lot out there or cookie-cutter commuter subdivisions.

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  • Hubert November 4, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    I\'m an avid recreational cyclist who rides the rural areas of Washington & Yamhill county extensively, while avoiding riding in the city as it is too dangerous.

    I\'ve been in a quandry over M49, both sides have valid points and both sides have their share of distortions. But I did indeed submit my ballot last week as No, under the theory of when in doubt, vote no. M37 was supported by the people overwhelmingly and went around the legislature and Metro. M49 is proposed by the legislature, whom I HIGHLY distrust. When in doubt, the people of ALL of Oregon got my vote, not just the people of Portland. It is way too often that Portland thinks they know what is best which has resulted in great animosity between Oregon east vs west.

    I love the banter between woogie and BikeViking. In the end, I lean with woogie. The UGB has done nothing but increase density without supporting increases in infrastructure. Schools are overcrowded there is no land to build more schools. City services were not built for the density now in the tri-county area. Roads cannot handle the traffic which means more congestion and impatient motorists and therefore more DANGER to cyclists. (Despite how the cycling community thinks, ours is an automobile society, it is simply not practical for the majority to bike to work.) Other infrastructure cannot keep pace with the density. And yes, the UGB has forced up the price of housing. It may be the median price growth is comparable to ther similar cities, but for the same money, we get a row house for what others get a decent house on a 10,000 sqft lot with elbow room. The UGB is an implosion in progress. Urban sprawl isn\'t the answer either, there needs to be more balance in the growth-density debate.

    As I said at the beginning, M49 has been a huge quandry. I try to see both sides but decided to error on the side of caution on this one.

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  • Lisa November 4, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I assume anyone who voted for 37 (or against 49, unless on the grounds that it doesn\'t go far enough in reversing 37) will wholeheartedly support a new ballot measure requiring landowners to fork over the difference whenever government does something that *increases* the market value of their property. This would be only fair, and would provide a practical method for funding measure 37 claims.

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  • » Signs aren’t good for Measure 49 November 4, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    [...] odds. The votes just aren’t there. And those that are there, are not the ones that we need. A commenter on this blog highlights the problem: IMPORTANT NEWS: Word from a friend/insider is that, despite the outstanding amount of ‘Yes on [...]

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  • Peter Bray November 4, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    The correlation between land availability and housing affordability is tenuous, at best.

    Indeed>:

    * it is the size, type and quality of homes built that has the greatest influence on local house prices;
    * house prices are heavily influenced by the quality of the environment: new homes which improve an area create value, but homes which damage an attractive location can bring down prices [7];
    * if local house prices fall following development this may reflect damage to local amenity and a decline in the quality of the neighbourhood, rather than a response to a greater supply of new homes;
    * even with much higher building rates, the impact on house prices would be very small, delayed and hard to detect. Any reduction in price resulting from increasing housing supply would be swamped by other factors;
    * house prices are controlled not by land supply but primarily by ability to pay;
    * rising house prices reflect, notably, an era of rising incomes, greater wealth available to many buyers as deposits, and mortgage lenders offering much higher loans than was considered prudent only a few years ago;
    * affordability as measured by the ratio of house prices to incomes has worsened. However, the proportion of income which first time buyers spend on mortgage repayments remains less than it was for most of the 1980s. Serious affordability problems are concentrated among those with lower incomes and little wealth.

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  • Peter Bray November 4, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Debbie says: Well, most of you seem to feel that land belongs to everyone. Our founding fathers didn\'t and I don\'t. If this state wants to take away the rights people have then we need to look real hard at ourselves.

    That\'s funny. Then why did they explicitly authorize eminent domain, escheat, policing, and taxation authority over all private lands?

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  • Joe November 5, 2007 at 9:37 am

    M37 was wildly unfair to property owners by allowing a small portion of property owners to develop their property however they like while the remainder were restricted to farming/forest use. How is it fair if my next door neighbor is allowed to develop an incinerator while i\'m limited to a single-family home?

    Zoning is a system that balances the benefits and burdens of restricting uses to appropriate areas. It has been upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times since it was first challenged in 1926 (Euclid vs. Ambler). When it was first challenged, the Supreme Court was in a very \"business-friendly\" mood and zoning has survived unscathed through various other \"moods\". In fact, zoning is rooted in protecting property values, as it was originally used in NYC - restricting industrial uses from retail and residential areas, protecting single-family residential districts, etc..

    The bottom line is that rural zoning has increased the value of farm/forest property significantly over when these rules went into effect over 30 years ago. That coupled with significant property tax reductions for those properties, it\'s a downright lie for some farmers to claim that M49 is taking away their property rights. It\'s protecting the property value of the farming community as a whole from the greedy intentions of the few.

    For these reasons alone, we should be voting YES on M49.

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  • Vote « What I Saw from My Bike Today November 5, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    [...] of the debate (here’s yes, here’s no, here’s Willamette Week, and here’s BikePortland.org); essentially, Oregon’s progressive anti-sprawl zoning laws were dealt a huge blow when [...]

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