By Micah Perry
Land use regulations in Oregon are adversely impacting the state’s residents and economy. A quick glance at recent news headlines reveals as much.
OPB reports that the Oregon Department of Transportation cannot repair key portions of Highway 101 along the Oregon coast due to a land use regulation that prohibits the fortification of highway infrastructure along the shoreline. Thanks to this regulation, parts of Highway 101 are literally crumbling into the ocean below, creating a public safety hazard.
In Clackamas County, a faith-based addiction recovery facility is being shut down simply because it sits on land zoned for agriculture. According to the Portland Tribune, the facility was intentionally placed in a rural setting to limit access to drugs and alcohol for individuals in the program. To the county, though, this was irrelevant.
Perhaps most alarmingly, The Oregonian revealed that Intel chose to expand its operations in Ohio rather than Oregon due in part to a lack of available land. The state’s largest employer needed 1,000 acres for its new factory, but the biggest parcel zoned for industrial use in the Portland region was only 200 acres.
Excessive regulation is preventing individuals, businesses, and even the government from using land productively. It’s time for elected officials to take action and relax the stringent land use rules that are holding Oregon back.
Micah Perry is a Program Assistant for External Affairs at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.