Land-use restrictions relaxed

Land-use restrictions relaxed

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed an executive order that will allow three southern Oregon counties to develop on farm and forest land.

Kitzhaber quietly signed an executive order May 10 directing the state to work with Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties on new criteria for designating certain land uses in their region. Environmentalists who have fought such regionalization efforts in the Legislature are cautiously going along with what's being dubbed a pilot project. The process could spark a revision of two of the 19 goals that guide land-use decisions in the state.

Critics of Oregon's state-controlled land-use restrictions have long sought more regional influence. Some southern Oregon landowners complain that farming or forestry could not realistically be profitable on thousands of acres that are restricted to those uses under the state's current rules.

Read more at KATU.