Even though the Oregon legislative session just began, our representatives in Salem need to summon maximum courage and deal with this Measure 37 mess.
Just before the key deadline this fall for land-use claims under Measure 37, county courthouses were flooded with claims from property owners who wanted public compensation for harm done by land-use planning. Some 7,000 claims came in, covering half a million acres, mostly farmland and forestland.
Under Measure 37, local government has 180 days to take action on them. Cities and counties lack the resources to analyze and otherwise process those claims.
It makes good sense for members of the Legislature to suspend the operation of Measure 37 until lawmakers can revise the law - even though many legislators are queasy about fiddling with the voters' intent.
Yes, Oregonians did pass Measure 37. But a couple of things are pretty clear in all this: Residents of this state did not mean to get rid of all land-use planning, and the processing of Measure 37 claims has overwhelmed city and county officials.
Those officials are faced under Measure 37 with having to either waive all land-use rules for inability to compensate claimants, or force claimants to go to court with their cases.
Legislators are within their rights to put a moratorium on this measure until they revise that law. Thanks heaven this law was a statute and not an amendment to the state Constitution.
As far as changing Measure 37, we hope legislators will confine their changes to citizens who bought land with the clear intent of someday building homes on that land.