Filed: February 7, 2002

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON

DAVID J. HUNNICUTT
and LAWRENCE B. GEORGE,

Petitioners,

v.

HARDY MYERS,
Attorney General,
State of Oregon,

Respondent,

and

HECTOR MacPHERSON,

Intervenor.

(SC S49087)

En Banc

On petition to review ballot title.

Argued and submitted January 14, 2002.

David J. Hunnicutt, Tigard, argued the cause and filed the petition for himself and petitioner George.

Denise Fjordbeck, Salem, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause and filed the answering memorandum for respondent. With her on the answering memorandum were Hardy Myers, Attorney General, and Michael D. Reynolds, Solicitor General.

Michael K. Collmeyer, Portland, filed a memorandum for intervenor.

PER CURIAM

Ballot title certified. This decision shall become effective in accordance with ORAP 11.30(11).

PER CURIAM

In this ballot title review proceeding, petitioners challenge the summary of the Attorney General's certified ballot title for a proposed initiative measure, which the Secretary of State has denominated as Initiative Petition 131 (2002). We review the Attorney General's certified ballot title to determine whether it substantially complies with the requirements of ORS 250.035(2)(d). See ORS 250.085(5) (setting out standard of review of challenges to ballot titles).

We have considered petitioners' argument and determine that it is not well taken. Accordingly, we certify to the Secretary of State the following ballot title for the proposed measure:

ESTABLISHES STATE PROGRAM TO PURCHASE
"AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENTS"
(DEFINED) ON LAND ZONED
EXCLUSIVE FARM USE

RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote authorizes the establishment of a state Farmland Heritage Program to purchase "agricultural conservation easements" (defined) on certain farm land zoned for exclusive farm use.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote rejects the establishment of a state Farmland Heritage Program to purchase "agricultural conservation easements" (defined) on certain land zoned for exclusive farm use.

SUMMARY: Under current law, state or local governments may acquire conservation easements to protect certain land values, including availability for agricultural use. These easements are nonpossessory interests in land that impose restrictions on future uses in order to preserve its character. Measure establishes Farmland Heritage Program for state to purchase conservation easements at fair market value on land zoned for exclusive farm use on which no dwelling has been built. State and seller must both be willing, and owners must apply to be considered; measure lists nonexclusive factors for priority of acquisitions by state. Owners of selected properties must execute documents prohibiting future residential development, guaranteeing future use for agricultural purposes. Requires legislation to raise, appropriate at least $5 million annually for program. Other provisions.

Ballot title certified. This decision shall become effective in accordance with ORAP 11.30(11).


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