I haven’t been blogging much about Measure 37 recently, but I just can’t pass up mentioning this latest brouhaha from Washington County (a suburban and ag county just to the west of Portland proper).
In an “exclusive farm-use zone” a property owner has been operating a landfill since 1952. Most of his neighbors hate it and have been trying to shut it down. But now the property owner has a bright idea: instead of closing the landfill, he wants to expand it to an adjoining lot he owns. Either that, or take home $5 million in taxpayer compensation if the county won’t let him.
Here are a few choice bits from the article in the community paper:
Neighbors hope to pack Tuesday morning’s hearing before the Washington County Board of Commissioners in Hillsboro.
County commissioners, however, might not be sympathetic. A board flyer sent with each Measure 37 claim notice outlines what the county will consider in the claim hearing. That boils down to whether the property meets the criteria for a Measure 37 claim. Commissioners won’t address impacts on surrounding properties or roads.
Yeah, sorry neighbors. Measure 37 just isn’t in to that whole “democratic process” thing. The rules are clear: waive the law, or pay.
But here’s the kicker: the property owner doesn’t actually want to operate the landfill anymore. According to his attorneys, he wants the waivers so that he can transfer the landfill operation to a new owner. Presumably, he’ll be moving to somewhere less odious.