In November of 2000, Measure 7 was passed in Oregon. This movement would define takings by the state. Oregonians in Action was the organization that promoted this movement. Measure 7 would compensate land that is owned by land owners. If the property value decreased by the actions of the government, compensation would be considered (Levy 77). This situation deals with justice for wrong actions.

This kind of movement does allow justice to happen. Each land owner has his or her own property value and wants to keep it either stable or increasing. If for some reason, it does decrease by the owner’s actions, it is his or her responsibility to take care of the problem. However, when an outside party such as the state or local government interferes with the property and ends up decreasing the value, then some sort of resolution has to happen.

First of all, there has to be a reason why the government is involved with the land. When a reason exists, it should benefit the community. The terms “citizen participation” and “big picture” can also be incorporated into the reason (Levy 96). Sometimes, people will be focus on small details of a problem instead of the major thing. If people tend to agree on this and bring it up to local government, the government will consider some sort of action to implement because the community will join together to give their input on a problem to practice citizen participation.

Even though compensation by the government would justify for the fairness of the individual affected, it can have consequences as well. As mentioned, “you have stripped the government of a fundamental power to regulate,” (Levy 77). If everyone would use this power to be compensated, then the government would have always have to pay back every cent for full compensation. It could decrease the power of government because they may start thinking that almost all their actions are affecting values negatively.

As a way to find a solution to this problem, there has to exist a balance. Many governments want to do things for the community which will benefit them the most, but there are people who still get affected. In the end, what is considered the best for the people can end up not being fair for every single person which leads to compensation.

How does justice exist if we make a decision that should benefit everybody as a whole and does not single out individuals?

Levy, J. The Legal Basis of Planning. In Contemporary Urban Planning (10th ed., p. 77,96).

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