Metro Landowner Alert: LCDC land redesignation

By Oregonians In Action

Rural property owners in Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties recently received some disturbing news from the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). If you are a rural property owners in one of these counties, pay attention.

In 2007, the Oregon Legislature approved a bill directing Metro and the three Portland-area counties to map and designate urban and rural reserves in each county. Areas mapped as urban reserves would be given first priority to be included in the urban growth boundary when the boundary expanded.

Conversely, areas mapped as rural reserves would not be brought inside the urban growth boundary for the next 50 years. However, as the legislature pointed out, the uses on property that was designated rural reserve would not change, meaning rural property owners would still be able to do all of the same things they could do with their property except for having that property brought inside the urban growth boundary.

That promise turned out to be a lie. After the legislature approved the “rural reserve” bill, LCDC adopted a rule that states that property designated “rural reserve” cannot be rezoned for the next 50 years, and any new uses for that type of property approved by the legislature do not apply to “rural reserve” properties.

What this means is that a rural property owner is stuck for the next 50 years. Want to rezone your property from EFU to rural residential? Sorry, you can’t. Want to take advantage of the new bill passed by the legislature? Sorry, you can’t. You are stuck.

This is not what the legislature approved, this is not what property owners were promised, and is simply another example of how Oregon’s land use laws are broken. Placing so much power in an unelected commission like LCDC is dangerous, and rural property owners have been the victims for the last 37 years. This must change.

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