ERPD Attempts End Run Around Land Use Law, ORCA Says

Lower Elk River Valley. Photo courtesy ORCA.
(Source: Oregon Coast Alliance, from Facebook)

“The developers of the unbuilt golf course proposed for Knapp Ranch outside Port Orford don’t want the land use laws that protect farmland to stand in the way of their project.

Elk River Property Development (ERPD) may want to expand or reconfigure the golf course (already allowed on farmland), but doesn’t want to apply through the land use process and meet the required standards. Instead, they went to the Legislature for a piece of special interest legislation.

HB 2730, originally an innocuous bill relating to agriculture, has been gutted and stuffed to become HB2730-1, which changes the non-farm uses allowable on Exclusive Farm Use lands to allow ERPD to expand onto high value farmland where golf courses are not allowed. Legislation to benefit a single development is called “super-siting,” and is terrible policy. It changes the land use laws for everyone for the sole benefit of a developer.

HB 2730-1 had an initial hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on April 13th. ORCA opposes this bill as an assault on the land use laws that benefit us all, and that further weakens the laws protecting farmland like that of the lower Elk River Valley.”