Someone sent this to me this morning and I haven't been able to confirm its validity. If it is true it might require a trip for public comment on my part.
UPDATE: Thank you all for your comments on this post, but PLEASE understand 1) LCDC has not authorized staff to prepare rules on this proposal - that will be considered in their upcoming meeting on November 18-19, and 2) Even if LCDC authorizes Staff to prepare rules, THE NEW RULES WON'T APPLY TO EXISTING DWELLINGS, only new ones!
Farmers beware! The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), Oregon's state land use planning agency, is considering a proposal that would require farmers to remove their homes if they cannot meet the income levels needed to put the home on the property in the first place.
Oregon is the only state in the US to require farmers to meet income thresholds before building a farmhouse on the property. In Oregon, a farmer must make $80,000 in farm sales for two years in a row before being allowed to build a farm house on the farm.
Under this new proposal, DLCD would be able to demand that a farmer demolish a home if the farmer no longer meets the income levels that were met to get approval to build the home. In other words, if a farmer has a down year and does not make $80,000 in farm income, DLCD wants to be able to demand that the farmer tear down the house! Needless to say, this is nuts!
The new proposal is in the early stages and has not been drafted, but will be discussed by LCDC at their upcoming meeting on November 18-19. Let's hope they rethink this idea before it ever gets off the ground.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.
BC takes a different approach, and not as draconian.
We have what are called "farm taxes" which are *much, much* lower than "municipal property taxes". They are based on income before many expenses are deducted, so a moderate operation, for example, use space for a couple of cow/calf pairs with the calves being sold when market ready at 2 per year, and you're there. If you have a bad year, you might have to pay more in property tax, but you certainly wouldn't loose your home. You may rent out land for hay or to market gardeners and this is also allowed. They are tightening up on this rule because people keep buying farmland, putting up a McMansion, and having a just large enoughchicken flock with a run to make the lower limit. So I do get where the Dept of Making us Sad is coming from.
So Robert, particularly with this being the beginning, I'd try to write a *very* informative and positive proposal about how a permaculture property that might not sell a lot of market goods, is building soil, reducing the owners global footprint and energy footprint. When we applied for farm taxes, it seemed that "preserving a healthy forest" wasn't considered using the land as "farmland", but this narrow point of view, doesn't consider that a forested area upslope of our field is supporting both surface water and our well water. People don't know this stuff - water comes out of a pipe and is treated with chlorine or it's not safe, doncha know? See yourself as an educator. Get other people in your ecosystem to help you generate ideas (this thread could be your "drafting area" if you want) and I strongly encourage you to focus on the "this is how you meet those goals in a healthy planet way", rather than in anger/how dare you do such a thing sort of way.
I did a similar thing with what our province calls the "OCP - Official Community Plan" which is pushing building more houses at a higher density, when we have no Family Doctors for our existing population and *no* food security. I sent them a letter stating all the things I could think of that would reduce the carbon footprint of our Municipality, and the feedback I got was, "wow - positive suggestions instead of just complaining". That means that at least it got noticed. Good luck!
Robert Ray wrote:I agree, it seems to be in the formulative stage so there will be plenty of time for public comment in the future.
I bounced around at the DLCD website but was unable to find any obvious discussions at this point. Robert R, if you catch wind of this again and can locate a link to a draft of this proposal, could you please post it here.....sounds like something many rural dwellers would like to know about. Thanks!
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