Oregon Communities

For a Voice In Annexations

Promoting and Protecting Citizen Involvement in Land Use Issues

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OCVA's Letter to Oregon Cities

April 1, 2002

Dear Mayor and City Council:

As Governor Kitzhaber is considering advancing the date for the third special session to deal with Oregonís budget crisis, we are aware that your community probably has itís own budget problems and issues separate from the stateís. Many of which are due to unfunded state mandates.

We would like to bring to your attention two issues that probably contribute to your cityís struggle to maintain vital public services and challenges the capabilities of your cityís infrastructure to accommodate and deal with the costs of new growth. One issue to consider is the state law preventing local governments from implementing System Development Charges (SDCs) for police, fire, schools, and libraries. The other issue we would like to highlight is the state law mandating that cities maintain a twenty-year buildable supply of land within their urban growth boundaries (UGBs). Both of these state mandates, however, do not allow your city to recover the full cost of supplying the infrastructure to accommodate these mandates.

Enclosed you will find two draft resolutions that a number of cities have already voted on and passed. These resolutions are non-binding but meant to build political support to address these issues in the upcoming legislative session.

We are asking your city council to discuss and consider the enclosed materials for the purpose of passing the SDC initiative for which we plan to have legislation introduced in the 2003 Session. This would amend the System Development Act of 1989 so that jurisdictions would not be prevented by state law from recovering the cost of growth as such costs impact police, fire, schools, libraries. Cities would still have to come up with the methodology to justify such SDCs, but at least cities would be allowed to pursue the issue and demonstrate a need and plan. The twenty-year buildable supply law is another issue you might want to discuss.

With unprecedented growth and prosperity for our state and many of its communities over the last ten years, itís ironic that the stateís school system and many of its communities find themselves lowering their level of public services decreasing their citizenís quality of life. We hope this information will be useful to your city in resolving some of your budgetary issues.


Jeffrey R. Lamb

Chair, OCVA

This page last modified on 2005-09-19 08:53.