Property Wrongs is Sightline’s new report on what other states can learn from Oregon’s experience with Measure 37. It tells six stories of communities that got stuck with the consequences.
Here’s the fifth of six stories…
There’s a small neighborhood of 85 families outside of Salem. They jointly own a small lake that adds value, as well as scenic beauty, to their neighborhood. And each home draws its water from a common aquifer.
But Adjacent to the neighborhood is a new Measure 37 claim for 82 new homes—each with their own well—on 215 acres currently zoned for farming. Because the county can’t pay $18 million to prevent the landowner from developing, the claim has been approved. Now the neigbhorhood is worried that if the water level drops in the aquifer, they may face big expenses for new wells, or a new water system; and if the springs and streams that feed the lake dry up, their property values could take a hit.
“There really isn’t any land use planning in the state right now with Measure 37. There isn’t a local jurisdiction that’s got an extra $500, let alone $500 million,” resident Don Dean explains. “I’m not an activist. I don’t campaign on issues . . . but there needs to be some kind of regulation to help control growth in certain areas.”
Read the rest of the story.