Youtube video added 10/13 @ 4:45PM
I haven’t sat down and read through the first section of the voter’s guide that came in the mail but the postcard from the Oregonians Against Unsafe Housing got my attention regarding Measure 63. Quoting directly from their website:
Back Door Attack on Homeowner Safety – Vote No on Measure 63
This November’s Ballot includes an initiative that appears on the surface to be a progressive move for homeowners’ independence. But, in reality, it will compromise the very foundation on which homeowners’ dwellings are built. Measure 63 would create exemptions for residential and farm property from state and local building permits and safety inspections if the value of the improvement is less than $35,000 in a calendar year. It would supersede current state and local laws and institute a system in which property owners may alter their structures with few limitations. The measure is only one page in length and so vaguely worded that large-scale improvements would not need permits if a project were broken into $35,000 increments over different calendar years.
For those who own or rent single family residences, you can quickly see the horrible consequences of this measure. Oregonians want to sleep safely at night knowing that work on their foundation, walls, roofs, electrical and plumbing was done to code. If this measure passes, that peace of mind will go out the window.
The Oregonian article cites the pro measure website to be BillSizemore.com but I find nothing of the initiative there. Most of the comments on Dana Tims’ article are critical of the bill. I have to agree. While the permit/inspection process is far from perfect, as both a Realtor and a licensed contractor (though not a contractor for hire), I don’t believe that Measure 63 would be a benefit.
Being able to do or not do work based on a dollar value is beyond stupid. The measure uses $35,000 worth of work in a given year because Sizemore says, “it sounds good.” An individual could easily put in $50,000 of cosmetic remodeling work and cause no safety issue (and can legally do that now). That same person could burn down a house with a $.35 switch. One of the biggest coin tosses when applying for work is the “value of project” question. Applicant aims low, BDS (in Portland) aims a higher and you land somewhere in the middle. In Portland, you permit is partially based on the value of the project being permitted- the portion that requires a permit. My $25,000 project may be your $50,000 project.
Have you registered to vote? You have until 5PM on Tuesday, TOMORROW, to do so.