Measure 37 Impact Study

In the spring of 2005, the Institute began to document the impact of Oregon's Ballot Measure 37, a land-use proposition passed by the voters in November 2004. The measure requires that governments pay owners, or forgo enforcement by repealing, changing or not applying restrictions, when certain land use restrictions reduce owner's property value. As a result, policy makers are now faced with remapping the future path of land use planning in Oregon, and efforts are underway to pass similar measures in other states.

The objective of this project is to investigate, describe, and, where possible, quantify the impacts of a variety of Measure 37 claims and decisions on the following:

  • residential neighbors of Measure 37 claimants;
  • farms and farm-related businesses that may lose the critical mass required to continue farming in certain areas of Oregon;
  • state and local governments attempting to implement sensible land-use policy under very tight budget conditions.

Documenting these impacts provides a clearer picture of how other states might be affected by the passage of similar takings or property rights legislation.

The Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies has been working to develop a complete database of Measure 37 claims and decisions. Using this database, we chose a variety of cases that represent a range of claimants, from small landowners seeking to build single dwellings on farm land to large landholders seeking to covert a large swath of farm or forest land to residential or commercial development. We are aware of claims all over the state and used the database to select case studies with geographic variety as well.

The final report, with the case studies, is now available as a .pdf file:

Documenting the Impact of Measure 37: Selected Case Studies (January 2006)