In the enduring words of Ronald Reagan “There you go again,” trying to take something that doesn’t belong to you, (our land) through the overbearing power of government, and under the pretext of a false argument, that our water quality is threatened. I’m referring to the Lane County water quality overlay and the proposed new ordinances that required a 200 foot setback from any water course. It's as if we didn't have a Constitution or a Bill of Rights, and there was no 5th amedment and no "Takings Clause".
Listen up! Our private property is off limits! Our private property rights are unalienable! They can’t be taken away without just compensation, even if there was a good cause, which there is not! That is they can’t be taken away if we are still a country that follows the Constitution. Do we?
Last month, it appeared that the Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners’ were trying to take away our right to put a manufactured home on rural property in Lane County. They claimed that they were only trying to clean up some language in the code, but they were actually deleting the words “manufactured home” from the code everywhere they appeared and it is my belief that they were actually trying to stop any more manufactured homes from being placed anywhere else in the county.
I contacted a representative of the Manufactured Home Association of Oregon and they contacted Commissioner Dwyer and the so-called clean up in the language was supposedly stopped and the words manufactured home were restored to the language and our right to put a manufactured home on our rural land in Lane County is once again secure for the time being, or at least I think it is.
But now they’re trying to take away something even more important than our right to put a manufactured home on our property. They are literally trying to STEAL 150 feet of valuable waterfront land, from anyone fortunate enough to live along a river, creek, lake, pond, or drainage ditch in Lane County. And if this idea of taking away someone else’s property isn’t repugnant enough, they are considering doing it all under an ordinance without even compensating us for the forfeiture of our land and under the canard that the quality of our municipal drinking water is threatened. This is preposterous! Show me the proof. And this is going on in Lane County at the same time it is happening in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties as well. And that is because these assaults on our property rights are being directed and co-ordinated on us from above by the United Nations Local Agenda 21, Local Action 21, and other United Nations programs through our local town councils, planning commissions, mayors, and county commissioners’ and through Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goal 6.
In Lane County, we have some of the cleanest and purest rivers in the United States, especially the McKenzie and the “Upper Willamette.” This fact is not disputed, not even by EWEB! There is absolutely no cause for this land grab. Show us the proof. Otherwise this is a fix for a problem that doesn’t exist!
I am reminded of what the city of Eugene tried to do in the 1990’s in the River Road – Santa Clara area by declaring that the ground water was unsafe and contaminated by individual septic tanks when it was not, and it never was proven in fact, and forcing homeowners to abandon their perfectly operating septic tanks and hook up to the Eugene Municipal Sewer Plant. It was a total lie! There was never any process to prove that anybody’s septic system was failing or contributing in any way to a groundwater pollution problem. Test monitor wells were selectively dug in areas in or near the city limits where there was known to be, or suspected to have been sewage leaks in the past, and as a result, people believed that the data was manipulated and the results were skewed to arrive at the desired conclusion. One aspect of what Eugene tried to do in order to force residents to hook up to the sewer system (without cause, process or even jurisdiction) was later declared to be illegal in Oregon’s Appellate Court in the City of Eugene vs. Kashin/Nalven.
Most of the residents of River Road and Santa Clara believed that there was nothing wrong with their septic system or the groundwater then, just like we believe that there is nothing wrong with the quality of Eugene's municipal drinking water supply now. And just as the city of Eugene never proved their case that any septic system in River Road – Santa Clara was actually contributing to a ground water pollution problem, no one today can offer any proof that the quality of Eugene’s municipal water supply is threatened now! It was and still is a pretext to prepare the way for high density urban development, which the majority of the residents of Lane County didn’t want then, and still don’t want now!
You can’t put a septic tank and a drain field on a 4000 sq ft lot. There is just not enough room! Your Planning commission and local land planners together with the help of the Board of Commissioners are planning on carving up not just River road and Santa Cara, but the entire Eugene Springfield urban growth area into very tiny little lots and multi story dwellings to accommodate more and more growth and thousands if not hundreds of thousands of more people coming here. This is too high a price to pay for employment! Over development is not the answer to our unemployment woes. We need to find other jobs for Oregonians besides the building and construction trades.
The connection between the confiscation of people’s property rights then in River Road – Santa Clara in the 1990’s and the attempted taking of 150 feet of your water front land today are those hundreds of thousands of new people that will be coming here soon, if the forces behind big development have their way. Consider these things: the new Fedearl Courhouse, the brand new hospital at Riverbend, the FLYOVER interchange on I-5 at Beltline, the EMX route in Springfield and the EMX route that is being pushed on the unwilling residents of west Eugene, the brand new Goshen Exit on I-5. These projects are all very nice indeed but they are very expensive and they are not necessary for a city of our current size and population. They are being built to accommodate the higher density urban development that is being planned for here. If the truth is to be told, your Board of Commissioners with the help of the Planning commission, land Use Planners, soil and water districts, the various watershed councils, and EWEB, not to mention the developers, bankers and realtors are planning such massive development and huge population increases in the county that some of you will not only loose the rights to your land but the rest of us will also loose the quality of life that we have come to love and cherish! But it isn’t too late to stop it!
Please listen to me. I’ve seen this happen before in San Diego County, where formerly quiet little places like Oceanside, Poway, Escondido, Romona, Lakeside, El Cajon, Santee, and LaMesa were forever changed beyond recognition. It’s also happened close by, in Bend and in countless other communities too many to list. And it’s going to happen here too if we don’t STOP it! There is no where else to run. We need to unite for our own sakes, Liberals, and Conservatives who love our little community just the way it is. We need to stop squabbling over other things long enough, in order to unite on this one issue in order to protect our community from over development!
Let me make this clear. THERE IS ABSOLUTLY NO DRINKING WATER QUALITY PROBLEM FOR THE RESIDENTS OF EUGENE-SPRINGFIELD OR THE URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARY! The people behind Big Development need an emotional issue and an excuse, even if it is a phony excuse, to stir up the masses, and to manipulate the people and scare them into supporting their agenda for massive population growth in order to prepare the way and the infrastructure for high density urban development. Water quality is a very effective tool to do this!
So let’s think this through. They were never going to be able to use that extra 150 feet of land that they were planning on taking away from you. They just don’t want you to use it. But why not? Once again, because they plan on such huge increases in population growth, and in the sheer volume of traffic, and the demand for public services like water and sewer, that they feel they need to push you away from the water and off of your land, and even out of your home in some cases and eventually decommission some of your septic systems, and bring you back into the urban growth boundary. Then they’d like to stuff you into a condo in a high rise apartment building or into a little house on a small lot in town and convince you to eat only pasta and vegetables without any meat and ride the EMX back and forth to work every day in order to supposedly protect the environment and the quality of the land and water.
But protect it from what and for whom? From the repercussions caused by the over development and over crowding that they are planning on approving and for the hundreds of thousands of new Oregonians that will be coming here soon to a city or a town near you! If you don’t want your community to experience this type of big development and population growth, then you need to tell your elected officials firmly and frequently, now and every chance you get, that you are not in favor of this, and you don’t support it, and you won’t support them if they support it. And it doesn’t matter whether they are Liberal or Conservative, Republican or Democrat. This issue crosses party lines. There is more to life than money! Quality of life matters too! As for me, I don’t want to live in a condo in the sky, ride the EMX back and forth to work every day, and eat only pasta and vegetables. How about the rest of you?? After all, you do have something to say about it. Other Photos
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter