Landowner rights and the Legislature

By Samantha Bayer
Oregon Property Owners Association

The 2024 Legislative Session has finally finished and OPOA is thrilled to announce a banner year. This Session, OPOA’s Dave Hunnicutt was at the Capitol daily working to help pass legislation that supports private property rights, and amend or kill any bill that makes it harder for private property owners to utilize their land. We are excited to announce that all of OPOA’s legislative priorities passed this Session.

Below is a brief rundown of some of the major changes to Oregon law that will benefit private property owners that OPOA worked on this Session. For a complete list of bills passed this Session that may impact private property owners, please check back on our Recent Legislation page of our website, which we will update in the coming weeks as bills are signed by the Governor.

SB 1537 – Governor Kotek’s omnibus housing bill. Among other things, SB 1537 creates the new Housing Accountability and Production Office and requires local governments to approve certain adjustments to land use regulations for housing development within a UGB. The bill also requires local governments to process certain applications relating to housing development as limited land use decisions, and creates an alternative process to amend UGB’s to include land for affordable and moderate-income housing.

You can read more about OPOA’s long-time efforts on the UGB portions of this bill by reading Dave’s post this week by clicking HERE.

SB 1564 – Requires DLCD to develop three model ordinances that may be readily adopted by local governments that provide clear and objective standards for the development of various housing types within UGB, including single-family detached housing, middle housing, accessory dwelling units, and multifamily housing. OPOA is hopeful that many local governments will opt in to using the model ordinances to expedite and simplify the development of needed housing.

HB 4026 – In response to anti-growth campaign happening in North Plains, OPOA worked to pass a bill that makes clear that certain land use decisions made by local governments, such as UGB expansions, cannot be referred to the voters for rejection or approval. Passing HB 4026 was not only critical for North Plains, but for all cities in Oregon who are now tasked with actively planning for and allowing needed housing growth to occur under the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis also known as “OHNA”. Under OHNA, many local governments will have to make choices to expand their communities and/or amend local regulations to allow the development of housing at all price points to occur. These decisions will not be popular with NIMBY activists. As such, HB 4026 helps prevent important land use decisions from being decided by a “thumbs-up-thumbs-down” vote influenced by misleading anti-growth campaigns.

HB  4063 – Requires a number of changes to Oregon law. At the persistence of OPOA, Metro counties must now plan for needed housing on urban unincorporated lands within their jurisdiction. Among other things, the bill allows a housing developer with a pending application to opt in to amended local land use regulations, allows serial middle housing land partitions to be considered a single partition, and extends the applicability of middle housing land divisions to townhouses.

If you have any questions about any of these bills, or any other bill passed this session and how it may impact your property, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not represent the opinions or positions of any party represented by the OPOA Legal Center on any particular matter.

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