Outline of Remarks on Measure 37 Issues

John A. Charles, Jr.

  • The number of claims filed under M 37 indicates a vast, pent-up demand for alternative uses to land in Oregon. This demonstrates what should have been obvious decades ago, namely that Oregon planners are not prescient enough to know which uses should go where.

  • There is no reason to artificially slow down the implementation of M 37. No public values are being threatened, and the $10 billion of investment that may result will lead to higher property tax revenues for local government, which they can use to provide public services.
  • Virtually every critical assumption underlying Oregon’s system of land-use regulation is wrong. We don’t have a shortage of resource lands, higher-density urban form is not less expensive then suburban development, and the “livability” that most people want is built around a modestly-priced home on a decent-sized lot, serviced by a workable road system.
  • If the committee is interested in returning “fairness” to the Oregon land-use system, then it must find a way to minimize the role of central planning and allow market forces to play the dominant role in determining where development takes place. Free trade is the fairest system there is.
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