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Two Measure 37 claims granted.

Byline: Matt Cooper The Register-Guard

The Lane County Board of Commissioners granted relief from land use restrictions Wednesday to two property owners with claims under the property-compensation law passed statewide by voters last November. In doing so, the commissioners rejected the recommendations of county staff.

Kenny Gee, owner of 56 acres, and Ron Tendick, owner of 53 acres - both near Creswell - were the first to reach an elected body in the county with claims under Measure 37. The measure requires governments to pay property owners if their land values have been diminished by zoning and other regulations, or to waive enforcement of the restrictive rules.

Overruling staff recommendations that amounted to rejections of both claims, the commissioners unanimously approved Tendick's request to add a house to his property. And they voted 3-2 to allow Gee to create a subdivision with a 2-acre minimum lot size, and some lots of 5 or 10 acres.

Gee said the action vindicates those who have been hurt by restrictive land use rules.

"If they're a qualified Measure 37 applicant," Gee said afterward, "they've recovered the rights that have been pulled away from them over the years."

Staff said Gee's request for a subdivision on land zoned for farm use is not covered by the measure, and they recommended waiving only the restriction that allows one home.

Commissioners Peter Sorenson and Bill Dwyer voted against Gee because they felt the subdivision would hurt neighboring properties.

But board Chair Anna Morrison, who cast the deciding vote in favor, said Gee's claim was just because his right to use the land was wrongly hindered by rules introduced after he had acquired the land.

The commissioners granted Tendick the right to partition a 30-acre lot off his forest-zoned parcel for a home site for his youngest son.

Staff had recommended allowing a second home, but said the waiver would not transfer to the new owner. That would have prohibited Tendick's son from holding title to the land, and banks generally make loans only to the property's owners.
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Title Annotation:Government; The Lane County commissioners give relief from land use restrictions to two Creswell-area property owners
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 19, 2005
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