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THE VANISHING NEST EGG
The Ed Campbell Story.


 More than 30 years ago, Ed Campbell of West Linn, Oregon and his business partners purchased a 120-acre parcel of property that they planned to sell for residential development. In 1979, Campbell and two partners divided up the remaining 60 acres with Campbell getting a 20-acre parcel. While his partners sold their parcels, Campbell waited until market conditions improved. By 1995, Campbell decided to sell only to learn that the county government prohibited development on the property.

When Campbell acquired the 20-acre parcel in 1979, Clackamas County imposed no restrictions on selling the land for development. His two other business partners were able to sell their parcels without a problem. But in 1993, the county imposed an anti-growth restriction stipulating that a new house could only be constructed if there were five houses built prior to 1985 within a half-mile square area of the proposed house. The county refused to grant Campbell the necessary permit because there were only four houses in his area.

The county's refusal cost Campbell a fortune. Since the 1960s, he has invested about $40,000 in constructing roads, installing a water system, running electrical lines and investing in other infrastructure necessary for a home. Campbell stood to earn $167,900 from selling the lot. The county's development restriction has thus cost him more than $200,000, money the 80-year-old was depending on to help finance his and his wife's retirement.

He is considering filing a lawsuit against the county for a regulatory taking of his property.
Source: Oregonians In Action

 

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