The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

LUBA ruling more than just NIMBY


June 3, 2020


Many thanks to The New Era for covering the LUBA (Land Use Board of Appeals) reversal of the rezoning of the 108 acres on Crawfordsville Drive which had changed the zoning from farm/forest to non-resource five-acre minimum.

Most of this property is classified as peripheral big game habitat and that was the basis of the reversal by LUBA.

The LUBA ruling, which returns the zoning to farm/forest, is being appealed by the developer who wants to build a subdivision there, and will now go to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The developer, Lynn Merrill, refers to neighbors opposing his developments as NIMBYs. This means “Not In My Backyard,” and is a derogatory term that implies that we only care because it’s right next to us.

Whether you’re a hunter, conservationist, or neither, most residents of Linn County care about preservation of big game habitat. When you think of oak savanna, do you think of a subdivision? When you think of big game habitat, do you think of a subdivision?

No, me neither. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

Forty-seven years ago, Gov. Tom McCall signed into law a ground-breaking piece of legislation: Senate Bill 100. Written by a Willamette Valley dairy farmer, SB 100 passed with bipartisan support, and started a new era of statewide comprehensive land use planning.

The purpose of the bill was, in its own words, “to assure the highest possible level of livability in Oregon.”

As Gov. McCall so memorably put it: “The interests of Oregon for today and in the future must be protected from the grasping wastrels of the land. We must respect another truism – that unlimited and unregulated growth, leads inexorably to a lowered quality of life.” I couldn’t agree more.

Phillip Callaway



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