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Gone Too Far: Measure 37 and the Perils of Over-Regulating Land Use

14 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2005  

Sara C. Bronin

University of Connecticut - School of Law


In November 2004, Oregonians passed a ballot measure, Measure 37, that presented a radical remedy for landowners by preventing the state from engaging in regulatory takings without compensating landowners. It required that local governments either monetarily compensate landowners whose properties fall in value as a result of land use regulations or, under certain conditions, exempt those landowners from the regulations altogether. At its core, Measure 37 addressed Oregon voters' concern that - for all the good the land use system had done - the government had gone too far in prohibiting landowners from using their land as they saw fit. This Comment examines why Oregon voters took the dramatic step of passing Measure 37, despite longstanding support for the state's strong approach to growth control. Although economic and demographic shifts may have been partly responsible, this Comment argues that the answer is more straightforward and far less inevitable: the legislature and the courts stopped listening to the people of Oregon.

Keywords: Measure 37, Oregon, Land Use, Takings, Regulatory Takings

Suggested Citation

Bronin, Sara C., Gone Too Far: Measure 37 and the Perils of Over-Regulating Land Use. Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 23, pp. 587-600. Available at SSRN:

Sara C. Bronin (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States

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