By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Council raises white flag on UGB

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Don Dix

It appears there was a message being sent by the no-growth cult to McMinnville 17 long years ago -- that message manifests itself in the form of dollars, big dollars.

While the city has been attempting to fulfill state-mandated expansion of the UGB (20 year supply of available land for development), a small group of NIMBYs have staked out Mac as the battleground to thwart any and all common sense approaches to land use.

Why? Apparently because the system allows it. One appeal leads to another, this lawsuit replaces that one, and any negative court decision is quickly appealed to a higher court. The basic tactic is delay, which by nature, leads to mounting costs.

The city's legal staff has been answering and explaining the UGB plan to LCDC, LUBA, and the Oregon courts for 17 years! If one has any experience as to the cost of legal representation, then it should be no surprise that Mac has spent well over 7 digits to defend any expansion during that time.

So, a few malcontents can waste precious tax dollars at whim, without any responsibility or consequences -- they are allowed to complain, file suit, appeal, and re-appeal -- and walk.

The odds are great that if Oregon's court system allowed the tested application of 'loser pays' to apply to land use, this foolish nonsense would diminish considerably. That in turn would leave the city's finances in much better shape, and more funds would be available for necessities within the community.

Wouldn't it be sweet justice to 'move the goalposts' on those who have perfected the art?

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