Grow Philomath Sensibly Grow Philomath Sensibly

To ensure that the needs, desires and values of the citizens of Philomath
are reflected in the planning, implementation and sustainable growth of our city

September 14, 2022

Discussion of MillPond Crossing Blocked

Mayor and City Manager kill major report at City Council meeting

Read how the people of Philomath were denied discussion of the report click here.

Click to view the actual MillPond Crossing report by Catherine Biscoe

NOTE: to review the numerous community warnings & opposition

August 8, 2022

Methane Menace

Half built Philomath housing track risks blowing up, literally

To read the balance of the Mill Pond Crossing story click here.

NOTE: to review the numerous community warnings & opposition

Newton Creek Wetlands
Jeff Mitchell

For those of you that have signed the petition to “Save Newton Creek Wetlands” or followed Jeff Mitchell's legacy
we like to bring to your attention Benton Soil & Water Conservation District (BSWCD) recently honored Jeff as a conservation hero during their January meeting.

“Jeff inspired youth in Lincoln County and Philomath High School for over 28 years.
Jeff taught his students the importance of biodiversity and respect for interdependence
through hands-on Environmental Science and Botany classes.
Through careful research they identified key components of successful gardens, vineyards and orchards.
One of the most important outcomes prioritized “local adaptation.”
Understanding the genetic differences in local varieties before choosing which crop to plant can determine success rate.
Jeff and his students planted the Eddyville Pioneer Apple Orchard, the Philomath Food Bank Orchard,
the Summerton Ranch Orchard, and the Pax Produce Orchard.
Jeff Mitchell
When Jeff retired in 2010 he continued to pursue his passion for agriculture on two acres of sandy loam soil
near the Willamette River. He served on the board of Mary’s River Watershed Council and Willamette Riverkeeper”.

Read more about why Jeff Mitchell was selected here.

Yes Philomath, It's About the Water...

Since the early 1990s, Philomath residents, Planning Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce members were sounding the warnings on limited water resources for Philomath, and urging for sustainable and managed growth to preserve water for the future residents of Philomath….whether by neglect or intent, our City leaders have failed to take heed, continuing to approve tremendous levels of development while limiting budget planning for needed water infrastructure.

* * * * * * * *

Army Corp of Engineer's denial
ACOE public hearing denial leetter

Jeff Mitchell with students

Jeff Mitchell
former PHS science teacher
influenced students and colleagues.

Click above to read the article at the PhilomathExpress.

The legacy of Newton Creek Wetlands is dependent on you!

"As We See It"

Oregon's Nationally Acclaimed Land Use Planning, Rest In Peace (R.I.P.)

In 2016 Governor Kate Brown undermined two citizen rights protected under the Oregon Constitution when she signed into law Senate Bill 1573. First was “home rule,” the constitutional protection of Oregon city charters from legislative meddling. Second, her signature dealt a blow to citizen voting, the cornerstone of Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 1,“ citizen involvement.”

Oregon is unique in many ways, until recently, constitutionally allowing “Home Rule & Self-Governance.” Under home rule cities and their citizens were empowered to create and amend their city charters (local control) without legislative interference. The Oregon Constitution declares, “the legislative assembly shall not enact, amend or repeal any charter or act of incorporation for any municipality city or town” Art. XI, Sec. 2.

In 1976 Corvallis voters amended their city charter to allow voting on annexations. Then as now, citizens wanted more control over the costs and impacts of annexations because development frequently drains local communities of badly needed money for new infrastructure. Builders and developers immediately attacked voting on annexations (VOA) in Corvallis and lost their case at the Oregon Supreme Court (Heritage Enterprises vs. City of Corvallis).

In 1995 Philomath taxpayers, also concerned about the impact on public development costs, overwhelmingly approved their annexation charter change. City officials heavily opposed the voters' charter change and would not implement it. The citizens were forced in 1996 to pass a second VOA charter change, again overwhelmingly. Ultimately it took a court order (Matson vs. City of Philomath) to honor the voters’ decision and election mandate.

As citizens in communities across Oregon claimed their rights to local control and VOA annexations, builders and real estate marketers funded several additional legislative and legal attempts to overturn local control, but they all failed. By 2015 citizens in 34 Oregon communities had amended their charters entitling their citizens a voice and a vote on most annexations. These events sent shockwaves through special business and building interests.

What changed in 2016? Sen. Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) sponsored legislation, SB-1573, drafted by the Oregon Homebuilders Association and Oregonians in Action. The legislation violated both the Oregon Constitution protection against legislative interference in community affairs and deviated from multiple high court decisions. Also, by adding a bogus “emergency clause,” adding insult to injury, citizens were denied their constitutional right to challenge SB-1573 with a Citizen Referendum. This effectively disenfranchised countless tens of thousands of Oregonians concerned over how their cities are managing growth and who pays for it. Gov. Brown signed this legislation under the false mantra of “affordable housing.” Who said special interest influence can't get you what you want?

The League of Oregon Cities' website states they “speak with one voice for all cities in Oregon to preserve home rule.” Their prime directive is to defend its member cities “home rule charters” and they were AWOL or MIA “Missing In Action” in the critical stage of the SB-1573 lawsuit. But SB-1573 also opened the floodgates for additional legislative interference such as House Bill -2001, also by “declaration of emergency.” The bill overrides local planning codes. It Requires cities to build more multiple family housing, also under the mantra of “affordable housing” among other things, but is nothing more than another unfunded growth mandate from your political leaders in Salem.

Oregon's home rule and self-governance have been sold out by the politicians to the highest bidder, the gift that keeps on giving!

There's simply too much money involved to let Oregonians decide their own fate or future. Oregon land use planning: R.I.P.----

Jeff Lamb/ Co-Chair OCVA
Richard Reid/ Co-Chair OCVA
Oregon Communities For A Voice In Annexations
“Promoting & Protecting Citizen Involvement in Land Use Issues” http://WWW.OCVA.ORG

NOTE:  Material and editorials submitted to the GPS web site are solely the opinion of the authors.

Recent News

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Key Topics

These are the key topics we are currently working on

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Unsustainable population growth

Recent annexations, SB1573 and its impact.

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Quality of Life & Safety

Small town standards

Quality of life and safety concerns are important to our community.

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Transportation woes

Concerns about traffic in Philomath.

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Why we care about this issue

Partnership with Corvallis, current resources and facilities, threats to our water supply and capacity.

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