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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Those amber waves …

Written June 27th, 2014 by Hasso Hering

Here I am taking a leisurely ride on a breezy afternoon and once again I’m impressed by the scenery just outside of town.

As the video fails to make plain, I’m less than a mile from the Albany city limits and right in the middle of farm country. Oregon’s land-use controls come in for their share of complaints, including from me, but give them credit for keeping the city out of the country to a great extent, and especially out of farm country. The land-use laws accomplish this with urban growth boundaries that are intentionally difficult to breach and impossible to ignore.

The main benefits include that farming does not disappear because of development pressure, at least not at a break-neck pace, and that urban development is confined to land that can be served with utilities and other essentials  more easily than subdivisions a great distance away.

One side benefit, inexplicably overlooked in the law and not even mentioned in the state’s several land-use “goals,” is that city residents on bicycles don’t have to pedal far or work up a big sweat to get out in the country, out among the fields where this time of year, the harvest is not far away. (hh)

Wheat up close, ryegrass in the distance...

Wheat up close, ryegrass in the distance…

 



One response to “Those amber waves …”

  1. Peg Richner says:

    I like those amber waves as much as anyone, but land use restrictions are bad policy. Somehow it is mainly those whose property is not affected that are the most in favor of controlling what belongs to others. Let free markets prevail; it is the only policy which will lead to peace, both short- and long-run.

    I wrote something similar to the editor of the Orange County Register some years ago, in response to a woman who wanted all new housing development to cease in Orange County. As might be expected, she already owned her own residence in Orange County. Hypocrisy in spades!

 

 
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