In 2004, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 37. That measure amended the Oregon Revised Statutes to provide compensation to property owners whose real property had been devalued by the enactment or enforcement of a restrictive land use regulation.
To qualify, the current owner or a family member must have owned the property prior to the imposition of the restrictive regulation and must prove that the regulation lowered the fair market value of the property. If those conditions are met, the owner may file a claim with whichever unit of government (City or State) is responsible for the regulation.
As applied to the proposed South University Historic District, the claim would be presented to the City of Eugene because it would be Eugene’s land use code (Chapter 9) that would likely be the alleged restrictive regulation. If the facts of ownership and lowered value were true, the City would have two options. One would be to compensate for the loss of value; the other would be to waive the restrictive regulation. While much about Ballot Measure 37 is currently uncertain, the City Attorney has estimated that the City’s likely response would be to waive the regulation.