Douglas County absolutely should continue its efforts to open up more forest and farmland to housing. Rather than throwing taxpayer money at the housing problem, it would be far better to create more options for housing to be built. It is simply wrong that Oregon prevents landowners from providing housing for family and others on their own property. Our county has a problem with attracting young families, and the lack of affordable housing makes that problem worse.
My family owns 100 acres that were rezoned – without notification or opportunity for input – from Resort/Residential to Forest Management back in the 1980s. Ironically, due to the poor soil, the acreage cannot grow commercial timber. With a flick of a bureaucrat’s pen, our valuable property was rendered nearly worthless. I have three nieces whose families are struggling to find affordable housing. All three would have their housing problems solved if the state would allow them to build on our family property.
On a recent trip to Iceland, it was noteworthy to us that in Iceland the government permits farmers to create housing options as they see fit. Icelandic farmers have more freedom than Oregon farmers do.
Douglas County – please don’t give up the fight for landowner rights and a common-sense solution to our housing problem.
Carol Lovegren Miller