Measure 37 waivers are legal, says federal court

Americans For Prosperity-Oregon announced late last week that its Josephine County Chairman, Jack Swift, and Jackson County members Bob Robertson and Dave and Joy Smith have won a major Federal District Court victory regarding Measure 37, an Oregon land-use ballot measure.

Under that Measure, governments were forced to either financially
compensate landowners for regulations that decreased property values,
or waive the regulations in the alternative.  Plaintiffs in the case
were retired attorney Dave and Joy Smith, founders of Citizens for
Constitutional Fairness in Jackson County. Swift’s argument was that
Counties providing such waivers had entered into a binding legal
contract with the landowners that could not be undone by subsequent
State action. 
   
Measure 49, referred by the Legislature as
an attempt to repeal the Constitutional freedoms confirmed under
Measure 37, was passed by voters in November of last year. Measure 49
sought to overturn all local actions intended to comply with the
earlier Measure.
   
"This is a tremendous victory for Oregon
property owners, and for Americans for Prosperity," said Oregon State
Director Jeff Kropf. "For too long, our State has used a heavy hand to
restrict the uses of privately-owned property. Our Constitution
guarantees the right to private property, and promises the government
will pay any time they ‘take’ land. Oregon has been taking private
property through onerous regulations since the 1970s. Measure 37 simply
attempted to make government follow the Constitution, and pay for what
it took away.  Oregonians can take heart that our courts have upheld
the notion that once a government entity makes an agreement, landowners
can count on it."
   
AFP stood alone among statewide groups in
encouraging Swift and Robertson to take the Smith’s case forward. 
Today’s decision may now be appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals by the County but the State has no standing to appeal.
   
For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

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