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219 Epilogue Oregon’s Unquiet Land-Use Revolution Unfolds “The prospects seem bright that Oregon’s SB 100 goals can and will mature into the Nation’s most complete and effective State urban strategy.”—John DeGrove and Nancy Stroud Ironic twists abound along the winding path to Land Conservation and Development Commission approval of the first generation of local comprehensive plans by the mid-1980s and the evolution of the statewide program beyond that phase through 2009. Some of the ironies evolve from the legislative compromises embedded in SB 100 and the politics of the LCDC budget in 1975. Others stem from the decisions made by LCDC about goal-related definitions and the question of priorities among them. Ideas and proposals initially rejected or inadequately appreciated re-surface in different settings. Unintended consequences emerge from the ways in which contentious issues were addressed during the early years. Oregon’s unquiet land-use revolution unfolds in relation to those consequences through legislative mandates and administrative agency actions taken in the context of continuing conflict and cooperation among land-use program stakeholders. Critical Areas While the legislature declined to incorporate specific critical areas in SB 100 and LCDC did not recommend the designation of the Columbia River Gorge and the Metolius Deer Winter Range as critical areas, several goals and key pieces of federal legislation nevertheless functioned in similar ways. The goals that applied to the Willamette River Greenway and the coastal zone were regional in nature and more specific than other substantive goals, as was the way in which agricultural land was defined in Goal 3. In those cases, LCDC had taken advantage of the detailed inventories that were prepared 220 oregon plans by other state and federal agencies and had adopted goals that would shape local government regulations. The legislature had carved parallel paths for the Greenway, the coastal zone, and exclusive farm-use zones, creating a favorable context for LCDC action on those goals. In 1986, Congress passed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, which embodied a critical area approach that built on LCDC goals and on a gorge commission previously established by the legislature. Richard Benner left 1000 Friends of Oregon to direct the Columbia River Gorge Commission and to lead its effort to adopt a land management plan for the scenic area (Abbott et al., 1997). During the 2009 session, LCDC returned to its December 1974 decision and recommended that the legislature designate the Metolius River Basin an area of critical statewide concern, the first time a critical area had been recommended for designation since 1977, when the agency did so for a sensitive natural area on the coast in response to an Oregon Shores request (Herman and Hull, 1981; Ouderkirk, 1992; Rindy, 2004). An ironic reversal regarding the role that critical areas should play emerged early on among program supporters and critics. While he strongly supported the designation of critical areas in SB 100, Henry Richmond argued in 1977 that requiring local governments to complete their plans first had some significant advantages. “The justification for further state incursion in the local government domain to regulate critical areas . . . may be less when local planning programs comply with the state’s basic land use regulations” (Richmond, 1977b). Bill Moshofsky, the Georgia-Pacific lobbyist who had testified against designating critical areas in SB 100, began in 1976 to advocate getting LCDC out of the business of regulating local comprehensive planning and restricting its mandate to designated critical areas (Moshofsky, 1976). A property rights organization he helped found, Oregonians in Action, continued unsuccessfully to urge the legislature to make that fundamental change. Comprehensive Plans, Zoning Ordinances, and Resource Lands Conservation SB 100 and LCDC in 1974 interposed local comprehensive planning between the state-level definition of agricultural land based on soil classification and the adoption of exclusive farm-use zones by local governments. LCDC refused to explicitly prioritize Goals 3 and 14, and most Oregon local governments were not applying the statewide goals directly to the land-use epilogue 221 decisions they were making about, for example, whether or not to change an existing zoning designation or to annex land to a city. In May 1977, however , LCDC decided to stop allowing local governments to design their own planning work schedules and to require them to sign an agreement that they would either adopt adequate interim measures to protect agricultural lands in accordance with Goal 3 by the end of September or adopt exclusive farmuse zoning by the...


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