Friday, May 12, 2006

Mob Rule or Home Rule?
Local legislators go head to head on proposal to limit citizen input.
Portland City Councilor Ed Suslovic is taking an opposing position from most other City Councilors and local State Legislators on a bill in the State Legislature that would restrict the action that can be taken by citizens once a development project is underway.

Suslovic, who as a State Representative sponsored LD 389 -a similar bill - two years ago, has been lobbying for passage of LD 1481. The Portland City Council issued a proclamation in opposition to the bill in February, with Suslovic being the only Councilor favoring the proposal.

Suslovic says that the bill does a good job of respecting citizens’ rights while encouraging prospective, rather than reactive planning. He said that it is ‘disingenuous’ for opponents of the bill to claim that citizens would have only 75 days to stop an unwanted project through a referendum project, because most large development projects take a full 12 months to get through the review process.

However, Parkside State Representative Herb Adams called the bill a ‘developer’s dream’ and a ‘citizen’s nightmare’. He said the bill would make it impossible for municipalities to do long-range planning because of its restrictions on changing permits once they are granted. West End Representative John Eder called it a ‘bad bill.’

The State Legislature is expected to take a final vote on the proposal in the last week in May.


Post a Comment

<< Home