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39 Chapter 2 The Laws: The Path from SB 10 “Counties were doing their own thing. Some of them were doing a fairly good job; others were doing a lousy job. It was time to get some statewide standards set up to make a more credible job of the planning process.”—Hector Macpherson While local governments struggled to produce and adopt comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances to implement them, development pressures continued to build on resource lands in the Willamette Valley and on the Oregon coast. The Governor’s Office initiated a wide-ranging process to address the land-use conflicts that were increasingly evident in the valley, and the legislature created a new agency to propose strategies to manage the conflicts on the coast. Those efforts, as well as programs emerging in other states and at the national level, informed a project spearheaded by Hector Macpherson, a freshman Republican state senator, Willamette Valley dairy farmer, and county planning commissioner, who pulled together a group of people to formulate Senate Bill 100. The Willamette Valley In February 1970, Governor McCall and Robert Logan, the former city manager of Tigard (south of Portland) and head of the Local Government Relations Division (LGRD) in the Governor’s Office, called together about forty local government officials and several state agency leaders to discuss a development plan for the Willamette Valley. Intergovernmental coordination was a key concern for the two men. As Logan frequently pointed out, hundreds of local government units and state and federal agencies were involved in one way or another in development issues in the valley. A steering committee was formed consisting of two members of the Governor’s Office 40 oregon plans and two representatives from each of the four Councils of Governments (COGs) operating in the Portland, Salem, Corvallis, and Eugene areas. The committee identified the conditions that necessitated a planning program: deteriorating air, water, and land resource quality; a lack of common policies with respect to growth; a lack of coordination among local planning efforts and state and federal agency plans; and conflicts between those interested in urban expansion and those interested in rural protection . It proposed a program with three components: a scenario that outlined the future of the valley if current trends continued unchecked; goals that expressed an alternative, environmentally sensitive future development pattern; and a plan to manage development consistent with those goals. It was an extremely ambitious undertaking. Data would be assembled about the likely future levels of employment and population and the consumption of natural resources associated with growth in both areas. Public opinion would be surveyed and incorporated into goals, which would then be used to frame a plan that would set a twenty-year course to the desired future state of the valley. The Environmental Protection and Development Plan, as it was called, would address transportation, power, water, sewage, health, education, and land use, with recommendations for new policies and legislation to implement it. In November 1970, forty-eight thousand questionnaires were mailed to Willamette Valley residents and several thousand more were distributed via valley newspapers. A Medford, Oregon, planning and urban design firm was hired to prepare a work program to develop the plan. “This kind of regional planning has never been done before,” one of the consultants said. ”It’s going to be done here though because the valley doesn’t want to become another California, where unchecked sprawl and spew has ruined many areas” (Hider, 1971; Local Government Relations Division, 1971a; McCall, 1971). By the next spring, the consultants had outlined basic policy recommendations that took into account the roughly fourteen thousand responses to the survey. They recommended that the plan and the planning process focus on those regional activities that would or could have significant environmental impacts on the valley—regional functions that, “without positive regional management, will have a debilitating effect on the Valley’s environment and will diminish the livability factors which the people have expressed their desire to preserve and protect.” The recommendations The Laws: The Path from SB 10 41 continued: “The Plan and the process should set forth, in a balanced and equitable program, the means and methods of protecting the environment while still recognizing that growth and development will continue.” Either a valley-wide Council of Governments, comprising representatives of the four existing COGs, should be established to exercise regulatory authority, or a state agency should be empowered to regulate regionally significant environmental issues. An advisory approach, they believed, would not...


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