Energy, Environment & Land Use Update – Week of April 7


AOC has been working closely with Representative Malstrom and several stakeholders to help develop House Bill (HB) 2645 (previously HB 2386). Now with the -5 amendments, the bill will receive a work session on Monday, April 10th. If your representative is a member of the House Health Care Committee, please reach out and urge support.


Two biomass bills had public hearings the week of April 3rd. HB 2072 extends the biomass collector or producer tax credit. It had a public hearing on Monday, April 3rd and passed out of the committee. It now moves to the Joint Committee on Tax Credits. Semate Bill (SB) 634, had a public hearing on Wednesday, April 5th. Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone testified in favor, SB 634 states that energy from a biomass facility can be used to meet the state’s 1.5% investment in renewable energy requirement. Commissioner DeBone must have been effective since the bill was scheduled for a work session on April 10th.


Update on the accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on rural residential land discussion SB 1024 will be the vehicle moving forward. After a second workgroup meeting several sideboards were presented to Senator Monnes Anderson and she will be submitting amendments with a tentatively scheduled work session on April 17th, right before the deadline. The other four bills related to allowing more housing stock on rural residential lands received a public hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee.  HB 2456 would allow tax-exempt entity to build affordable housing on rural lands, HB 3012  would allow the construction of a second home on a rural residential parcel under certain conditions. AOC’s bills, HB 2937and HB 2938 allow for ADUs and RVs on rural residential and EFU. We were told after the hearing that AOC’s two bills would not be moving forward and we will instead focus on SB 1024.


SB 1036 had a hearing on Monday, April 3. It exempts the creation of landfills from mining regulations. AOC has proposed amendment which would include exempting public works projects as well. Its unclear whether it will be receiving a work session before the deadline.


On Thursday, April 6 the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing on four bills that relate to rural economic development and its relationship to Oregon’s land use system. SB 432 is familiar: it allows rural counties with no population growth to adopt a comprehensive land use plan without complying with the statewide land use planning goals. Sherman County Judge Thompson testified pointing out that Sherman County and the other surrounding counties are struggling with housing. He highlighted that his sheriff’s deputies and other recent hires want to live within within the county but how there is no available housing. SB 432 would provide Sherman County and eight other eastern Oregon counties the flexibility to address this locally. The other three bills were introduced by Senator Knopp.  SB 602 allows certain counties to waive the requirements of any goals as necessary to establish and maintain a five-year supply of shovel-ready buildable lands for industrial and commercial uses. SB 612 authorizes counties to adopt an exception to statewide land use planning goal for use that will create five or more new full-time jobs for which salary or wage is 400 percent or more of federal poverty guidelines for family of four. This bill only applies to counties that have experienced sustained high unemployment or sustained population decline or has high poverty level. SB 608 calls for an expedited urban growth boundary expansion for affordable housing. As of Friday afternoon (April 7), none of these bills were scheduled for a work session and would effectively be dead.


Next week (April 10th) the Natural Resources Subcommittee of Ways and Means will be hearing testimony on the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

Contributed by: Mark Nystrom | AOC Energy, Environment & Land Use policy manager

2017-04-19T04:08:16+00:00 April 7th, 2017|Categories: Energy Environment & Land Use|Tags: , , |