Friday, June 27, 2003
A report on the “good, bad and ugly” of Oregon land-use regulations was delivered to Hood River residents on Wednesday.
Bill Moshofsky from Oregonians in Action, a private property rights advocacy group, facilitated the land-use forum that drew 20 citizens. He blamed the state’s severe revenue shortfalls, in part, on over-regulation of private property — especially in rural areas.
Moshofsky said of the 25 million acres of rural land, 97 percent was designated as highly restricted farm and forest zones, without regard to productivity. He said it was clear that the primary objective of this “miszoning” was to force people to live in cities, which reduced their quality of life by creating traffic gridlock and forcing more dwellings to be built on smaller lots.
He said severe restrictions on private property was especially harmful to the economy since 55 percent of Oregon’s land-base was under public ownership with limited use. He said the OIA, based in Tigard, is seeking to bring balance to state regulations so that natural resources are protected without blocking development and stifling job growth.
“We’re trying to visit more communities because, surprisingly, people still don’t know the extent that government has stepped in and taken away their rights,” said Moshofsky, who had also met with residents from The Dalles earlier that day.
Although rural Oregonians have borne the brunt of having property devalued without compensation, Moshofsky said the same measures are now being taken in urban areas through the state’s Goal 5 mapping process for riparian areas, wetlands and wildlife habitat. He said it was ironic to have people being channeled into cities and then adding development restrictions in areas designated for high density living.
According to Moshofsky, cities and counties are required by the Division of State Lands to complete a Goal 5 inventory of “significant” sites within their jurisdiction. However, he said these entities do not have to adopt measures that will adversely affect property owners. Both the City of Hood River and Hood River County have recently undertaken the mapping process but neither have adopted a regulatory ordinance.
“The OIA has taken the position that if a city or county wants to use your land for conservation easements they ought to buy it out of fairness,” Moshofsky said.
He said an initiative is slated for the November 2004 ballot that will require state and local governments to conduct economic studies and get landowner approval of a regulation if it reduces the value of affect property by more than 10 percent. In addition, the “son of 7” initiative will appear on the same ballot, requiring compensation for regulatory takings.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge