SALEM, Ore. – A long-running legal battle involving the estate of property-rights advocate Dorothy English appears to be over. The Oregon Supreme Court Thursday ordered Multnomah County to pay English's estate $1.1 million to settle a Measure 37 land-use claim.
Dorothy English became the poster child of the property rights movement after Multnomah County turned down her request to subdivide her suburban Portland property. English passed away two years ago but her family pressed on for a final judgment in the case. Now, the Oregon Supreme Court says the county must pay up. Robert Young is a planning professor at the University of Oregon. He says that while the ruling marks the end of the case, the debate over land-use in Oregon is far from over.
Robert Young “It closes a chapter but only in the sense that it opens up what I would think will probably be a very high level of activity now to try to figure out what this all means and where it's all going to shake out to.”
Oregon voters passed Measure 37 in 2004. It allowed landowners to develop property based on the rules in effect when they bought it, or else be compensated by local government. Voters scaled back the law three years later.
Copyright 2010 Northwest News Network
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