Oregon’s much-heralded and also much-criticized land use system – invented in the 1970s to protect agricultural resource land – could be in for major changes if recommendations from the state-appointed “Big Look” task force come to pass. The 10-member body is recommending more flexibility and more local control, according to an article by Eric Mortenson in the Oregonian. Any changes are certain to have an effect on Oregon nursery operations, many of which are located in the high-growth three-county area near Portland. Most notably for the nursery industry:
“The group is proposing legislation that would allow Oregon counties to seek regional rezoning of unproductive or compromised farm, forest and resource land.”
Such a change might make it easier to upconvert nursery land for other uses. This could be good for those wishing to sell or redevelop their land, but bad for those concerned about the impact of possible nearby urban-style development on their nursery operation. Needless to say, the reactions so far to this recommendation are quite varied, and further developments bear close watching for everyone involved. The task force will meet Nov. 21 in Albany, and will review a draft report at that time.