As charter president and co-founder of OCVA Jeff worked diligently to assist citizens state wide to have more say in the annexations and land use decision making process in their communities and also who pays for the costs of that growth. The state wide voter annexation movement started with Philomath's famous 1995 Neabeack Hill development proposal. The controversy grew to where 95% of the citizens did not want this land use Goal #5 environmentally sensitive property developed. The city council went ahead with the development despite what the people wanted. This led to the creation of C.V.A. "Citizens for a Vote in Annexations" and this citizens initiative passed in 1995 by a vote of 78% yes, 22% no. This created a situation where the Philomath city government told the people you can sue the city of Philomath to force compliance, or you can pass a new annexation initiative that covers "Delayed Annexation Agreements" which the city viewed as contracts. The C.V.A. second initiative in 1996 passed by an even larger majority, 82% yes, 18% no. When the city refused to recognize the city charter changes the city attempted to approve dozens of annexations without a vote. This broke faith with the voters and it became necessary for former city councilor Richard Matson to file a law suit against the city of Philomath which was settled out of court in Mr. Matson's favor and the dozens of annexations were tabled for a later date and the required vote of the people.Note: Jeff stepped down as chairman of OCVA in 2001 and has recently rejoined the board of directers.
NOTE: OCVA was established in December of 1996 in part to protect voter annexation rights from having the legislature repeal or overturn voter annexation charter amendments which we were informed that they and the lobbyists had plans to do. We've put a link to the OCVA website which contains the history of the organization.
SLAPP suits are not only used in Oregon but they're used nationally do deny citizens their first amendment free speech rights. They're used primarily in the public arena, school board meetings, city and county planning commissions, legislative hearings, at city council meetings and county commissioner public meetings. OCVA was finally successful in getting anti-slapp suit legislation passed and signed by governor Kitzhaber after working on it through 3 Oregon legislative sessions. This information is also available on the OCVA website.
These are the cities that successfully mounted citizen initiatives to be more involved in land use issues.
Please visit the OCVA website below.