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2023 / 2024

An Oregon Story: Saving Our Beaches, Farmlands, and More

January 18, 2024

Jim Gilbert & Joe Wilson


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Call to Action/Winter 2024

Support Effective Action to Increase Housing Supplies – Not Enriching Land Speculators Building McMansions

Every Oregonian deserves a home they can afford, that meets their family needs, and is well-located in a livable neighborhood near schools, stores, parks, transportation options, and more. Most of the housing we need is for people with moderate to lower incomes and for those living outdoors. Oregon’s land use planning program ensures planning by cities and counties 20 years into the future. Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs) are used to identify the lands we need for new jobs and housing in cities big and small, 20 years into the future and to save rural lands for farming, forestry, wildlife, and natural resources. UGBs are integral to Oregon’s planning.

The 2024 Legislative Session begins on Feb 5. Legislation will be introduced and debated at the request of Governor Kotek. It would allow all cities to quickly rezone a set number of acres of farmland with very limited input by the public or counties.


1. Oregon’s cities already have tens of thousands of acres designated for residential use inside their Urban Growth boundaries, but the lands lack some or all infrastructure: roads, sewers, water, etc.

2. Oregon has great redevelopment opportunities that need relatively small infrastructure upgrades to bring thousands of homes online, including affordable homes and apartments, well-located near stores, schools, and transit helping to prevent sprawl. There’s even federal funding to help, which can be combined with state and local investments.

3. Spending limited infrastructure dollars goes farther and faster inside UGBs to produce more houses than spending those dollars in a UGB expansion. Building closer to existing infrastructure means less cost and less time to get more homes on the ground faster.

4. Overriding land use and environmental laws will enrich the land speculators and allow new McMansions to be built but it that will not produce the housing Oregonians need, where they need it.

5.  There are many negative aspects of building at the edge of UGBs including contributing to climate change by adding more rides and driving, paving over carbon sequestering farmlands and natural areas, and increased sprawl.

Please contact the Governor, your State Representative and Senator ASAP to ask them to support effective action to increase the supply of housing working people can afford not to enrich land speculators who convert land that grows food and provides rural jobs into McMansions.

How to find your legislator: Click Here! Go to the box at the bottom right of the page and type in your complete address. Your representative and senator’s emails and websites will appear.  In the subject line of your email, please write something like “Vote NO on UGB weakening” or “Please support infill” or “Support effective housing action and not land speculator enrichment”. Senate Bill #1537 Include the statement “I am a constituent”.

After writing your legislator, please copy your letter and send a copy to:

Governor Kotek: (503) 378-4582

Senate President Rob Wagner: 503-986-1600,

Speaker of the House, Dan Rayfield: 503-986-1416,  Rep.DanR​

House Majority Leader Julie Fahey:503-986-1414,