Oregon Explorer News

Land Use in Oregon

“In 1919 the State of Oregon granted authority to cities to plan and zone; this was challenged in court and upheld as valid in 1925, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court established a national precedent for such authority… Citizen involvement in land use planning peaked in the 1970s.  For many Oregonians today, planning is part of a bureaucratic routine rather than an active contributor to livability.  There is a need to reinvigorate public interest and involvement as new planning issues emerge.”  –excerpted from  About Oregon Land Use. The Land Use Explorer [http://www.oregonexplorer.info/LandUse]

For those interested in pursuing questions about land use concerns in Oregon, two “viewer” tools on the Land Use Explorer may be of assistance.  These are the Measure 37 Viewer and the Measure 49 Viewer.

Figure 1.

Measure 37, passed in 2004, requires state and local governments to either waive land use regulations or compensate landowners when a regulation reduces a property’s fair market value. The Measure 37 viewer was developed to help inform decision-making related to current and proposed land uses, as well as changes in land use policy.  With the Measure 37 Viewer (Figure 1), you can get a sense of these impacts on a specific location related to proximity to urban growth boundaries, soils, forest Land, fire risk, conservation opportunities and ground water restrictions.

Figure 2.

The Measure 49, passed in 2007, clarified some of the issues associated with Measure 37 claims.  In that context, the Measure 49 viewer (Figure 2) can be used as a first step in determining if property is high-value farmland or forestland or in a ground water restricted area as defined in Measure 49 .

The Land Use Explorer portal provides the user with a wealth of information on land issues in Oregon including mapping tools, state and local planning documents, streaming videos, and links to experts (including those in OSU Extension).  We invite you to investigate how it may be useful to your clientele.

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