Measure 7 would bring fairness

To the editor: In 1973, the legislature gave the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC), a non-elected body, the power to control the use of every acre of private land in the state. Unfortunately, the legislature did not insure that the rights of landowners would be protected against unfair, excessive land controls. As a result, year after year, LCDC imposed more and more controls that denied landowners the right to live on their own land, to harvest trees, to divide off and sell or give children a portion of their property. No compensation whatsoever was paid to the landowners. Worse yet, the controls were not imposed to protect the public’s interest in water, air or safety (other regulatory agencies do that); they were imposed mainly to preserve open space in rural Oregon and to force people to live in cities. Measure 7 will help bring some fairness to such controls by requiring compensation to landowners for losses they suffer from excessive regulations. It’s a step in the right direction. James Woodward Mitchell