Featured Stories

State’s land use rules need reform

To the editor: When Oregon’s very restrictive land use regulations were adopted nearly thirty years ago, the public went along with the belief that valuable farm land should be preserved. It has now become clear that the public was misled. It seems clear that the primary objective of the strict land use regulations was to keep people from living in rural areas. The regulations intended to preserve valuable farmland were expanded to millions of acres of land that has little or no value for farming, thereby prohibiting or severely limiting rural dwellings. At the same time, regulations show little concern for converting prime farm land to wildlife habitat, wetlands, or other non-farm uses so long as no dwellings are allowed. The concept of saving farmland is virtually ignored. In any case, the need to preserve farm land was over-blown. It is time for the public to wake up and realize that there is no shortage of farm land. In fact, overproduction of almost all farm commodities has forced prices so low that farmers are often better off to let their land go back to weeds and blackberries, rather than to continue to farm at a loss. It’s time to reform rural land use regulations! William Tolke Terrebonne