Throughout the debate regarding I-933, we’ve read and heard a great deal about Oregon’s Measure 37. I-933 is modeled on Measure 37, which was passed two years ago. Opponents of I-933 point to Measure 37 as a demonstration of the potential costs of I-933 while supporters of I-933 say that Oregon’s experience with Measure 37 proves that I-933 won’t be expensive and will achieve its intended effects.
Now The Oregonian has chimed in with its editorial, entitled “I-933: Don’t follow this Oregon trail; Washington voters should reject“.
If Measure 37 was so good for Oregon, why wouldn’t The Oregonian want it’s like to be exported to Washington state?
The Oregonian’s article starts clearly enough:
“You can have it, Washington. All of it: The millions of dollars in legal fees, the billions in potential property compensation and the infinite cost of watching precious places, such as Oregon’s Steens Mountain, possibly opened to development.
You, too, can have all this. All you have to do is pass Initiative 933.”
“Measure 37 has spawned more than 2,000 claims in Oregon, requesting more than $3 billion in compensation. Those are big numbers, but I-933 would surely ring up much, much larger costs for the taxpayers who fund Washington’s local and state governments. Washington is dealing with tremendous growth-management problems, and in significant ways I-933 is even more radical than the Oregon law.”
And then, for me (a homeowner here in the Griffin Neighborhood), the clincher:
“It’s not worth it. Oregon’s property-rights law hasn’t led to a sweeping improvement in the fairness of the land-use system. Instead, it’s picked new winners and losers, led to substantial legal and bureaucratic expenses, bitter fights among neighboring property owners and a confusing, chaotic system that can no longer ensure careful growth management.”
I don’t want any part of that. That’s why I’m voting “No” on I-933.
And one last little bit of information. . . Lest you think opposition to I-933 breaks along partisan lines, there’s this information, from The Olympian:
“Mainstream Republicans have joined two former GOP governors in opposing Initiative 933’s proposed rollback of land use restrictions.”
UPDATE (10/25/2006): A new survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research strongly suggests that Oregonians regret passing Measure 37. The phone survey was conducted in mid-October among 405 Oregonians who voted in 2004.
Its key finding?
“In 2004, Measure 37 passed with 61 percent of the vote in Oregon. Yet, support for the measure has dropped precipitously. In fact, Oregon voters now oppose Measure 37 and if the election were held today, Measure 37 would lose by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.”
Read it here.