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BANDON, OR-To the relief of residents up and down the Oregon coastline, the state Parks and Recreation Commission will not move an invisible construction line near this southern coastal city. The line, which meanders with the vegetation along the length of the state’s coast, determines where property owners cannot build without a special permit. It has not been moved since it was established in 1967 with passage of the Oregon Beach Bill.

Three ranchers were looking for the line change, which would have moved the line 750 feet closer to the ocean around their ranches and 750 feet further away from the ocean in along another section of the boundary. The ranches argued that the line – which sits a little more eastward near the ranches than it does elsewhere – has been in the wrong place for years, restricting the area where their cattle can graze. The commission voted unanimously against the idea.

Land east of the development line is restricted by local zoning and land-use laws. Land west of the line is considered public domain, which means the property owner doesn’t pay taxes on it and must obtain a special permit from the state to build on it. The commission received more than 300 letters against relocating the line. Most feared the change would set a dangerous precedent for other sections of coastline. Others were concerned about reducing public access and recreational rights.

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