Letter to Editor

Fire Road Update

from Norm Maxwell, Lane County LandWatch Chairman

One of the fields of the old farm designated as a new lot!
We see it as "Lake Lorane". Note kayak in distance.

The siege of Fire Road by Lane County's Land Management Division/developer complex is lifting. The developer who sought to reduce the zoning of my neighborhood has discovered that I will never stop resisting and that Oregon land use law supersedes Lane County land use policy.

The LMD is in heavy denial centered on its own involvement in the case of "Maxwell vs. Lane County." Some people in the Land Management Division are not happy that Kent Howe chose to appeal Lane County's own original decision when I won.

Neither the LMD or the developer chose to appeal "Maxwell vs. LC" to Oregon's Supreme Court. The deadline for that is past and we all get to recognize that lots have to be legal in Lame County. I would have never guessed this to be an issue before having to modify the county's behavior.

Now we are all working on dividing the developer's holding into three ten acre lots and selling two of them to a prospective buyer who wants them for her two daughters to keep horses on. This is the best possible use for marginal flood plain like at the end of Fire Road and I am all for making it work. The developer gets to keep one ten acre lot and put a house on it and sell it.

The deadbeat neighbors who didn't want to be developed had their battle fought for them for free and I should have no more legal fees to keep the county following its own land use policies if not Oregon land use law.

During the two year legal struggle, I became aware of the LMD's concept of land use. If nobody challenges a land use action, it must be legal. The LMD goes out of its way to obfuscate its land use actions and then wear out the few people who are willing to challenge in the county's rigged system where its own employees act as "impartial" judges.

It doesn't seem like much but the case of "Maxwell vs. LC" has demonstrated that bad land use implementation can be defeated if one is zealous about it and willing to spend money for justice outside of the county arena. I guess the lesson learned here is that if you aren't willing to fight the system, you deserve to be developed!

© Spencer Creek Press, West By Northwest 2000-2002 All Rights Reserved unless otherwise noted.

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West By Northwest

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