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Technical Report

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Land use -- Law and legislation -- Oregon, Real property -- Valuation -- Oregon, Land use -- Planning -- Oregon -- Portland, City planning -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area


Created in the aftermath of Measure 37, the Russill Fellowship is aimed at examining non-regulatory land use planning tools and their potential application in the Portland Metropolitan area, with a particular emphasis on habitat conservation. The above-mentioned ballot initiative and the larger private property rights movement have given an indication that Oregon voters perceive inequities in the State’s land use planning system. It is also clear that Oregonians still place a high value on the conservation of our state’s natural resources. According to a March, 2005 statewide survey, protecting farmland for farming is very important to 67% of respondents, protecting the environment is very important to 61%, and protecting wildlife habitat is very important to 58% (CFM Research, 2005). According to a more recent survey commissioned by Metro, 72% of respondents indicated that a policy to “add houses in existing neighborhoods” comes closer to how they feel while only 16% chose “convert farm and forest land for growth” (12% responded with “don’t know”) (Davis, Hibbits, & Midghall, Inc., 2006). Regardless of the legal status of Measure 37 or any future regulatory takings initiatives, the planner’s toolbox needs to be expanded, providing a wider variety of options to accomplish the Statewide Planning Goals. However, as the research for this paper progressed, a more complicated picture of planning and the use of regulations has emerged. It has become clear that non-regulatory planning instruments are no substitute for regulation in upholding Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals. The above-cited survey indicates that Oregonians do still see the importance of the Goals. Thus, this paper has focused on the need for long-range planning, the relationship between planning and property values, the threat of sprawl in the Portland region, planning instruments that help to control such sprawl, and whether such instruments are able to attain Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals.


A George Russill Fellowship report from the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies. Generously funded by the Oregon Community Foundation.

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