Opinion: HB2007 will attack local land use control from your city
Posted on Jun 26, 2017 by rleblanc
Stand up for local control.
By Mark Fitz
HB2007 will attack local land use control from your city.
Source Citylab.com: https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/06/oregons-hb-2007-would-preempt-cities-zoning-rights/528612/
HB 2007 can be found here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2007
Oregon has extremely high housing costs. This is due to our top down land use system that locks up plenty of willing housing providers while forcing development in areas that are not equipped to build it. This creates huge housing pressure in times of growth in Oregon. Without flexibility, especially in rural areas, the market for housing is unable to respond to dynamic pressures. Right now, we are seeing good economic times which is harming long time working class residents in many communities in Oregon. Urban and rural residents alike are seeing extreme double digit rent inflation, no fault evictions, and unaffordable housing.
What is the answer of our legislators? Is it to open a little freer market activity. Enable a short period of time for rural home owners to add Accessory Dwelling Units and mother and law apartments? Let anyone and everyone who is willing to provide housing for their family members or for residual income in old age as they down size but stay on their property?
No, that is not Oregon’s answer. Instead, the answer with more top down control.
Under Oregon land use there is a façade of local control. Every decision must be planned, zoned, checked and approved. This is called local control. Of course, if the local level steps out of the bounds of Statewide Land Use Goals it is hammered back into place. Usually this is a city trying to enable more flexibility for housing or commercial uses. Now this façade is being removed even for the local planning process with apartment housing.
The irony of extreme housing costs spiraling out of control due to a supply of land not being available. The answer of our legislators is not to add more land where people want it, but to enable a free pass for developers in communities that do not.