For Immediate Release

March 28, 2013

Contact: Rep. Julie Parrish, 503-986-1437





SALEM, OR – Rep. Julie Parrish (R – West Linn) testified today in support of legislation to create a process for donations of land to nonprofits or the state for the purpose of benefiting our veterans.

“I appreciate that land use planning encompasses a number of things like housing, roads and some of the things that make our communities wonderful,” Rep. Parrish said. “It is a rare discussion however, where land use planning is driven by a purpose of taking care of societal needs. This bill creates an opportunity to be bold and innovative."

Parrish explained that with two, long wars in the Middle East, there is a growing need for facilities that care for veterans. She urged the committee to support a bill that encourages our land use planning system to consider these kinds of issues. One such facility is being proposed by the Oregon Veterans Foundation, which would like to site a veterans' complex on land in Washington County which is currently unincorporated. The site is between the north Wilsonville exit and the on-ramp to I-205.

“There are not nearly enough communities equipped to address all of the specific needs of returning veterans. This bill will open up new possibilities to create programs to help veterans reintegrate back into their communities,” Rep. Parrish said. “Thoughtful land use planning needs to start looking at these kinds of societal needs. They are as important to Oregon as the other goals land use planning seeks to uphold.”

HB 3384 was heard for the first time today before the House Land Use Committee. Of concern at the hearing was the swift response of those who naming "local control" as the main reason against giving the state the authority to be involved in a land use process when there is a benevolent purpose. Metro and 1000 Friends of Oregon immediately as opposed to the bill.

"The City of Wilsonville sent two paid lobbyists to testify against the bill, and the land in question is merely adjacent to Wilsonville. In their testimony, Wilsonville acknowledged this parcel of land is not in their 50-year planning model, except to be condemned for a road," Rep. Parrish stated. "Those of us who support veterans believe a gift of 51 acres of high-value land in the Metro area, dedicated to serving the needs of returning veterans by developing a one-of-a-kind public-private partnership model, is a good use of land."

Parrish, who serves as a vice-chair of the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness, is also the chief sponsor of HJR-29, the Oregon Veteran's Lottery Bill.

"With upwards of 1,800 Oregon National Guard soldiers preparing to head to Afghanistan next year, it's time to step up our game and make sure we're prepared to welcome them home properly,” she said.

Rep. Julie Parrish is in her second term representing West Linn and Tualatin. For more information, contact Rep. Parrish at 503-986-1437 or rep.julieparrish@state.or.us.