This flooded field is one of the developers's building sites at the
end of Fire Road after several days of rain in December 2001.
Text and photo by Norm Maxwell
(Note the kayak.)
Oregon's Court of Appeals reaffirmed its original decision
of November 27, 2001 in favor of the Fire Road Defense League on the 6th of February
Lane County's Land Management Division
is not happy. It has the option of trying to take "Maxwell vs Lane County"
to Oregon's Supreme Court. My lawyer tells me that the OSC hears one case in a hundred.
It looks like the developer and I can work out a solution for the end of Fire Road
that will revert the zoning back to the original Rural Residential 10 acre lot size
in such a manner that I can stand down and never have to defend the Siuslaw flood
plain at the end of the road from attempted rezoning again. If I settle with the
developer, my neighborhood is safe from Lane County sanctioned development but the
LMD personnel involved in perpetrating this fraud will escape accountability.
The neighbors next door who bought a two acre illegal lot will be able to reassemble
it through a "multi party replat" with ten acres of the developer's, sell
and move on as they wish to. Under its current cloud of legal problems, a buyer is
hard to find. If I choose to take "Maxwell vs Lane County" to the next
level, The panel of judges who decided "Maxwell vs LC" have remanded the
case back to Lane County to fix under the new assumption that all lots used in the
LMD approved system of zoning breaking must be legal. You would have never thought
this would have been an issue.
It is possible I might have to fight "Maxwell" through the county hearings
and Board of County Commissioners, through Oregon's Land Use Board of Appeals and
back to the Court of Appeals AGAIN. I think the enemy may grant me a little more
credibility than it did originally. What to do? If I settle now, I will have driven
the LMD/developer complex out of my neighborhood. I will no longer have to shell
out my own money to keep the developers at bay while most of the neighbors sit on
their hands and watch from the sidelines.
They have money for new cars, Hawaiian vacations and industrial sized green houses,
but see no point in wasting their hard earned dough on fighting the common enemy
if I will do it anyway. If I settle now, I will be a common NIMBYist who stops fighting
the minute the enemy is out of my 'hood. If I do the right thing and hold the Land
Management Division accountable for its actions I will continue to spend money, possibly
for years, while nobody cares. It's like peeing your pants in a dark suit...it gives
you a warm feeling for a minute and nobody notices.
If I continue to fight, I will focus on the invalidation of the Lane County "lot
line adjustment" and its resultant "migrating tax lot." These tools
are used by our LMD/developer complex to create more building sites on the same amount
of land. The LC "lot line adustment" and "migrating tax lot"
have nothing in common with Oregon land use law. County land use policy can not be
less restrictive than state law.
Because most logical sites are already occupied with homes, the complex plays number
games that enables it to stick home sites in flood plains and other ridiculous places
in order to make money here in Lane County. A developer will do anything the LMD
tells him he can.
What would you do in this situation? Please respond to our poll. Vote either Settle or Continue the fight. We will publish the results
Norm Maxwell, block captain, Fire Road Defense League
Fire Road Update December, 2001
The Tentative Truce
of Fire Road Summer, 2001
Home, Home On Fire Road Winter, 2000
The Continuing Battle for
Fire Road Fall, 2000
Battle for Fire Road Late Summer, 2000