Commissioners and judges from eight eastern Oregon counties met Wednesday on a proposal to modify Land Use Planning processes in counties with no population growth (SB 432).

In a meeting convened by Senate Minority leader Ted Ferrioli Wednesday afternoon, Judge Gary Thompson, Commissioners Boyd Britton, Joe Dabulskis, Bill Harvey (in person) and Judges Dan Joyce and Steve Shaffer, plus Commissioners Mark Owens and Susan Roberts, (via phone) met with Governor Brown, Senate President Courtney, Senate Majority Leader Burdick, Speaker Kotek, and Assistant House Republican Leader Bentz. AOC staff Mike McArthur and Mike Eliason were present along with Dave Hunnicut of Oregonians in Action and Rich Angstrom of Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association and other staff.

The group discussed the problems faced by counties with stagnate or declining populations with a focus on the ways that Oregon’s land use system hinders development opportunities. Senate Bill 432 would allow rural counties with no population growth to adopt comprehensive land use plans without complying with the statewide land use planning goals.

County representatives gave examples of economic development opportunities prevented or lost because of state land use regulations. Senator Ferrioli describ