Tuesday, December 05, 2006

You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money.


The last second flood of Measure 37 claims has sent the state into a bit of a panic but has at least provided a bit of grim amusement in watching the Oregonian expressing shock, SHOCK, that corporations might take advantage of a ballot initiative they largely funded the passage of. Not the sharpest tools in the shed over there at the Lazy O.

More sympathetic are the small rural communities which strongly supported Measure 37 that are now running smack dab into the law of unintended consequences. The media has focused on coastal communities near to large tracts of corporate owned timber that may face development under Measure 37 claims but that's not the end of the story. For example:

Sandy received its first claim from Lila C. Leathers, who says her downtown property is hurt by a ban on gas stations and drive-through restaurants.

In other words: a truck stop.

The Sandy downtown is really a small, oval shaped island that splits Highway 26 East and West on both sides. Traffic on the highway is slowed to 25 mph in town and, during the winter ski months when the traffic is particularly heavy, it can be a real bear getting through town.

Leather's property is on the West end of that island bordering Highway 26 on both sides. The truck stop she's been fighting to build would no doubt add considerable traffic problems to the surrounding area as tractor trailers merged back onto the highway. That's why the notoriously development-friendly city have wisely spiked her efforts up to this point. A truck stop would not be beneficial for the local community nor the seasonal travelers that depend on the highway to get up the mountain. Sandy, which bills itself as the "Gateway to Mt. Hood," would become more gate than gateway.

The Governor and legislative leaders are discussing some "tweaking" of Measure 37 during the next session. Most likely something will come together that caps the larger, corporate claims while expediting the smaller individual claims. I would hope the Leathers deal falls into the former category because the benefit to Sandy, and to all all Oregonians that enjoy their winter sports, is negligible to say the least.

5 comments:

Don Snabulus said...

The best way to close the door on Measure 37 would be if every Oregonian filed a petition to make their land, condo, mfr home, etc. into a nuclear waste dump requiring a few hundred million bucks each and clog things up so tight nothing could ever be granted.

Overdroid said...

Hey, it's not like many truckstops are dens of hookers, crystal meth, and crime. But then I'm generalizing again, aren't I?

Dean Wormer said...

Don's idea is appealing but Overdroid's promise of drugs and hookers also has it's charm.

Aaron said...

I think Don's idea is brilliant. Beat them at their own game. As a resident of Washougal, Overdroid's comment makes me nervous. After all, Washougal is the meth capital of the Northwest, we wouldn't want competition. I mean, when you drive into Washougal on Highway 14, the sign "Speed Zone Ahead" isn't about Miles Per Hour.

Measure 37 makes me sad. I didn't realize how lucky Oregon was to have its land use system until I moved north of the Columbia. Up here it's all rampant development and inadequate infrastructure. It's a mess now; in 20 years it will be a disaster.

Dean Wormer said...

I mean, when you drive into Washougal on Highway 14, the sign "Speed Zone Ahead" isn't about Miles Per Hour.

:-)

Measure 37 makes me sad. I didn't realize how lucky Oregon was to have its land use system until I moved north of the Columbia.

It's funny but there are a whole heckuva a lot of people that don't see Tom McCall as the visionary that I, and I assume you too buddy, grew up thinking he was.

On another note I'm so tired of political bait n'switches. From the Iraq war to Measure 37 I just want proponents of these half-assed ideas were honest about what they were trying to accomplish.