Dont lose sight of the fact that voters OKd Measure 37
- Carolyne Jones
- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
Local resident Greg Morse, who is anxious to have the city identify protected resources for Goal 5, obviously has forgotten, or failed to embrace, the fact that voters have passed Measure 37.
While Goal 5 does require the identification of natural resources and the need for an inventory of resources that each city in the state supposedly should protect, Goal 5 is a 'Non-Conforming Law.' That is, it does not comply with Amendment 5 of the U.S. Constitution which states that no person 'shall be deprived of life, liberty or property' and further that 'nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.' Goal 5 Inventories are 'takings' without just compensation and the number of Measure 37 Claims filed in the state of Oregon testify to that fact that Oregonians want these 'takings' to stop.
Goal 5 'identifications' stigmatize the properties they identify, leaving owners with property that they cannot resell. Few buyers want real property they can do nothing with, but pay taxes on. Goal 5 'identifications' deprive property owners of liberty by interfering in what should be a free enterprise estate market.
Oregon's Constitution (Article I - Bill of Rights, Section 9) states that 'No law shall violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable search, or seizure …' Although you can refuse to participate when the permission form granting the city the right to access your property arrives in your mailbox, if you refuse access, the inventory is done anyway using public records and existing maps that may have been distorted to support the city's case for the taking. Goal 5 inventories represent an unjust search and seizure and they are mandated to occur every ten years.
Finally, Oregon's Constitution (Section 20) states that 'No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges or immunities which upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.' Yet, as a result of Goal 5 in any neighborhood where properties share the zone, one owner may be prohibited from doing anything at all with their property, including landscaping, while next door three McMansions may be under construction with a landscape plan to brick over any remaining property. Goal 5 is as unjust for the environment as it is for property owners that it steals from.
Since Mr. Morse considers Goal 5 Inventories a priority, I would like to personally invite him to go ahead and donate his property to the city with instructions that it be sold and used to pay the required 'just compensation' that the property owners of 'identified' properties are entitled to.
Jones is a resident of Lake Oswego.