CITY MAY RESCIND MEASURE 7 RULING

December 19, 2000 11:00 pm

The Brookings City Council has called a special meeting today (Wednesday) to rescind an ordinance for processing claims under Initiative Measure 7.

The special meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the city council chambers at city hall.

City Manager Leroy Blodgett said the city is repealing Ordinance No. 00-O-541 at the suggestion of the League of Oregon Cities because the ordinance authorizes the waiving of state land use laws.

The city doesnt have the authority to waive state laws under any circumstance, Blodgett said. The city has the responsibility to enforce state law.

The city called a special council meeting on Dec. 5 to pass the ordinance because Measure 7 was scheduled to become law on Dec. 7.

Measure 7 is an Oregon constitutional amendment passed in the last election which requires state and local governments to compensate landowners when regulations lower the value of their property.

The Brookings City ordinance, prepared by City Attorney John Trew following guidelines issued by the League of Oregon Cities, was designed to provide a prompt, open and thorough process that enables property owners to present their legitimate claims consistent with the Oregon constitution.

The League of Oregon Cities and others filed suit to prevent the amendment from taking effect on Dec. 7 and a preliminary injunction was issued by Judge Paul Lipscomb of the Marion County Circuit Court.

Judge Lipscomb made three major decisions in his ruling:

One, that Measure 7 did not constitute a wholesale revision of the Constitution,

Two, that Measure 7 included several changes to the Constitution which did not appear to be closely relatedand thus likely violated the Constitution, and,

Three, that Measure 7 may not fully comply with the full text requirement of the Constitution.

The League of Oregon Cities suit was consolidated with a prior suit, McCall v. Kitzhaber, and the two cases will be decided together by Judge Lipscomb.

In handing down the preliminary injunction, Judge Lipscomb noted that if Measure 7 was allowed to go into effect, both claimants and governments would incur substantial expense due to a possibly unconstitutional measure.

In his opinion, Judge Lipscomb wrote that, as now appears likely, Measure 7 does not meet the Constitutional requirements for proposed amendments to the Oregon Constitution.