Oregon Willamette Valley Grapegrowers Push Back on Development
on 11/11/10 at 12:22 amWine
Grapegrowers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley are cheering two recent court decisions backing strict land use rules in their state. The rules, which limit development, especially in agricultural and forest areas, are crucial to preserving Oregon’s wine regions, they argue. After 40 years of debate, however, the battle over land use is far from over.
The contentious fight over development rights stretches back to 1973, when Oregon’s legislature passed what was then the most comprehensive land use law in the country. It mandated that each county develop a plan that would allow the state’s population to grow but also protect farmland and undeveloped areas. It has been challenged repeatedly: Developers and various companies argued that the restrictions were unfriendly to business; property owners argued that the rules unfairly lowered their land values and were a virtual government land grab.