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PORTLAND-The Oregon land-use watchdog group 1000 Friends of Oregon is suing 23 cities in the state for implementing procedures to deal with Measure 7, the far-reaching property rights measure that voters approved in November. The organization filed suit with the State Land Use Board of Appeals, and says it also plans to file lawsuits against the Multnomah and Washington counties.

1000 Friends says in a statement that the ordinances allow cities to waive zoning and land-use regulations that might give rise to compensation claims under Measure 7. As a result, the ordinances could theoretically be used to “to authorize everything from cell phone towers in residential zones to development on coastal sand dunes.” The lawsuits by 1000 Friends contend that the cities don’t have the authority to override or waive state land use laws.

Measure 7 is a constitutional amendment that would require state and local governments to compensate property owners for losses in the value of their property resulting from land use or other regulation. On Dec. 6, Marion County Judge Paul Lipscomb issued an injunction stopping the measure from being implemented, saying he thinks there is reason to believe the measure violates the state’s constitution by dealing with more than one issue. A trial date of Feb. 1 has been set to decide on a permanent injunction.

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