Blog

Appeal Filed to Protect Josephine County Forest Land

Josephine County, Oregon––Rogue Advocates and 1000 Friends of Oregon have appealed a Josephine County land use decision to re-designate and rezone nearly 90 acres of forest land to rural residential to allow a residential subdivision with 5-acre minimum parcel sizes. Over 15,500 acres in Josephine County have already been re-designated as non-resource lands, with local decision-makers repeatedly failing to consider …

Ashland Amends Annexation Process, Granting City Broad Discretion to Bypass Safety and Accessibility Standards

Ashland, OR. As a result of Rogue Advocates’ successful May 2021 appeal of the Grand Terrace annexation, the City of Ashland was forced to acknowledge the multitude of ways in which the annexation’s approval violated the City’s laws. But rather than require that the applicant conform to Ashland’s annexation code––which mandates that newly-annexed areas provide “safe and accessible” bicycle, pedestrian and …

Rogue Advocates Opposes HB 4118

**2/14/22 UPDATE: The bill is dead after not passing out of Committee! Still check out the post below to learn about the types of threats our land use planning system faces. HB 4118 bypasses Oregon’s land use planning processes and inappropriately pits farmland against affordable housing. House Bill (HB) 4118 allows private landowners to request cities to expand its urban …

Rogue Advocates Highlights the Need for a Systemic Shift Away from Auto-Dependent Growth in Comments to LCDC’s Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking

Rogue Advocates submitted public comment in advance of the December 17 meeting on the latest draft rules developed for the Land Conservation and Development Commission’s (LCDC) Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking. The comments urge LCDC to ensure that its final rule reflects the urgency and severity of the climate crisis and corrects Oregon’s historic failure to meet its GHG emission reduction goals.    Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-04 directed state agencies, including LCDC, …

SOCAN’s 7th Annual Master Climate Protector Course begins February 2022

Become a Master Climate Protector! Register today for Southern Oregon Climate Action Now’s 7th annual course starting on February 9, 2022. This is a 10-week course, held on Zoom every Wednesday from 6-9 pm. This course is limited to the first 20 participants; tuition payment guarantees your seat! Visit https://socanmcp.eco/ to learn more and sign up! Modeled on the extremely popular Jackson …

Sprawl: the climate change elephant in the room

Guest Opinion published in the Mail Tribune on September 6, 2021. Gov. Kate Brown recently appeared on CNN saying, “Climate change is here, it’s real and it’s like a hammer hitting us in the head — and we have to take action.” Brown then singled out her recent signing of a “clean energy bill” (HB 2021) as evidence that Oregon …

Ashland Climate Action Project Event

Join SOCAN’s Ashland Climate Action Project next Thursday from 7-8:30pm via Zoom for a special event: “Rethinking Streets: Lessons for Ashland” where they will be discussing community safety, health, climate, affordability, equity, and more. The free event is being hosted by the Ashland Climate Action Project and the Ashland Bicycle Advocacy Group. Join the conversation and register on their website …

Why A Land-Use Group Nixed An Ashland Housing Plan

Pepper Trail, Vice President Rogue Advocates, and Craig Anderson, Land Use Program Manager, were interviewed by the Jefferson Exchange about the Ashland Annexation appeal on July 8, 2021. Listen to the recorded interview here: Jefferson Exchange Public Radio Jefferson Public Radio wrote: “The Rogue Valley needs more affordable housing, and Ashland acutely so. But when a plan was created to …

LUBA rejects county zone change

Article by Damian Mann published in Ashland Tidings on June 11, 2021. The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals recently rejected a zone change by Jackson County commissioners that could have opened the door to widespread development of rural properties. “It is difficult if not impossible to understand what findings the Board of Commissioners relied upon to support the decision,” …

Ashland willing to sacrifice safety to appease developers

Written by Jimmy MacLeod. Published in the Mail Tribune on Jun 10, 2021. Is public safety “tinsel on a tree”? With little discussion, despite a hearings record of over 1,000 pages, the Ashland City Council unanimously approved the “Grand Terrace” annexation in December last year. As envisioned by the developer, the annexation would have resulted in the construction of 196 …

State Raps Ashland Annexation

Article by Damian Mann published in Ashland Tidings on June 4, 2021. Ashland’s attempt to annex 17 acres for a proposed apartment complex was rejected recently by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals. “The decision we made is incorrect,” said Bill Molnar, city planner, at a May 25 Planning Commission meeting. The city approved the annexation, which would have …

Rogue Advocates Wins Two Appeals at LUBA

Ashland, OR. May 14, 2021 – In response to two separate petitions filed by Rogue Advocates, a public-interest land use watchdog, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has reversed an annexation approval by the City of Ashland and remanded a zone change approval by Jackson County. On May 12, LUBA agreed with Rogue Advocates that the City of Ashland did not follow their municipal code in approving the Grand Terrace annexation just north of the city limits on Highway 99. The next day, LUBA again ruled in favor of Rogue Advocates when they …

Talent and Ashland Pass the Hat to Bolster Developer Profits

Written by Jimmy MacLeod, President of Rogue Advocates We are all keenly aware of the ongoing housing crisis in the Rogue Valley. With that in mind, residents and community members will undoubtedly be happy to learn that Talent will be permitting a new subdivision within its city limits for 49 houses. Or will they? This low-density, single-family luxury home subdivision will put an incredible burden on the …

Box R Mine Appeal: Update

The Box R Ranch has been operating an unpermitted mine operation since the 1990’s in the Greensprings area approximately 1 ½ miles off Hwy. 66. This has historically been a small operation until 2018 when Box R contracted to supply rock for the reinforcement of both Hyatt and Howard Prarie Dams. The increased haul traffic led to several public complaints …

Rogue Advocates Opposes Urban Growth Boundary Expansion Bill

HB 2708, introduced by Representative Zika, would authorize DLCD to approve any city’s request for a Urban Growth Boundary expansion for affordable housing, notwithstanding land use laws, including onto farm and forest land. There are several problems with this: Perpetuates the false notion that just adding more land means housing will be more affordable. Distracts from what cities should be …

Citizen Alert: DLCD Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking

From the DLCD website: “On March 10, 2020, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-04, directing agencies to reduce climate pollution. In response, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (commission) is working on updating Oregon’s Transportation Planning Rules and related administrative rules. The commission initiated rulemaking at its September 2020 meeting. That rulemaking will focus on significantly strengthening Oregon’s administrative rules about transportation …

Rogue Advocates Appeals Ashland Annexation

Ashland, Oregon, January 13, 2021—Rogue Advocates, a non-profit land use organization based in Jackson and Josephine Counties, gave notice today of their intent to appeal the City of Ashland’s approval of an approximately 17-acre annexation near Ashland’s northern city limits. Located adjacent to a 45-mph section of Highway 99 on land currently occupied by a single home, the annexation would …