If wishes were horses, beggars would ride…

Headline Oregonian 11-5, 2010: “Kitzhaber makes tone, priorities clear”. He thanked “everyone who sees our state and recognizes its natural wonder, and knows it’s worth fighting for, and that it’s a legacy to be passed on to future generations. It’s your victory, too.”

Grandma Day was the most practical and brilliant woman I ever knew. She left me with a wealth of truisms like the great “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. She probably never said “When Hell freezes over” because it was small town Michigan and back in mid-century free speech wasn’t embraced.

But time marches on……. can you .hear the money going down the drain on both ends of the pathetic Idiot Ridge “project”: $$$$$ flying out on one hand for expensive and worthless consultants and on the other with the “reduced” proposal for less camping and less events (meaning less $$$). And Hell will still freeze over before anything like Idiot Ridge will ever have a chance in Clackamas County, Oregon because MOTOCROSS WON’T BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO TRASH THE ENVIRONMENT IN A  FOREST ZONE.

I talked to our great FREE legal help at 1000 Friends (remember – the folks who just KILLED a track in central Oregon and who will keep this tangled up in court forever for free should even one dirt bike be allowed!) about the new “reduced” Idiot Ridge. The  hooting and laughter on the phone about how Idiot Ridge would still be an illegal proposal with even one motorcycle on the track almost broke my eardrum.

I think it is tragic how rapacious and disingenuous (being polite with that word) land use consultants are when they take money to “help” with land use projects in Oregon which they know won’t have a chance of passing through legal process.

The motto of land use consultants should be “If you are dumb enough to propose it, we’re greedy and unethical enough to take your money – but you’ll still lose and we could give a damn”. I’m pretty sure most of them have that hanging somewhere where the public can’t see it.

Recently, my neighbors hired an expensive land use consultant because the consultant said he could morph a Measure 49 claim that allowed a 2 acre home site into a 5 acre home site. I talked to that consultant before the Clackamas County land use hearing on the issue to quiz him about the chances for what I already knew would be a dead proposal. Good old land use consultant babbled a great line: oh, boy, he was going to get the job done for my neighbors, blah, blah. I wrote a simple letter in support, knowing it was a waste of time and that my neighbors were being tricked with false hope by a greedy consultant.

After the hearing was held, I called the consultant back and asked how that supposedly slam dunk land use proposal went. Talk about an about-face: the consultant screamed about how the Clackamas County rulings ALWAYS WENT AGAINST THAT KIND OF PROPOSAL!

Gee, don’t you wonder why the consultant didn’t just tell my neighbors there was NO WAY they could get their 2 acre site enlarged to a 5 acre site? Could it be that land use consultant was more interested in lining his pockets with ill-earned $$$ (kind of like robbing) than in telling the clients the truth IN ADVANCE OF SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY that their ideas were trash? It sure sounded like that to me!

And for an even more outrageous theft of funds by land use consultants, we can look at the ongoing Molalla planning fiasco. For 4 years and counting, a rag-tag clueless planning commission and a barely literate “guy” called “planning director” have “used” (more like “BEEN USED”) by  “tell you anything you want to hear” Winter$$$brook land use consultants. Hundreds of thousand of public funds have disappeared in this outrageous con job. Winter$$$brook eggs the city on to submit insane nonsense – and every revised version of nonsense costs a fortune. The County just rejected “version 8” and threw it back in the City’s lap. The word on the street is that Molalla “planning” is on the agenda soon for a formal  kick in the ass by State and County!

It’s “buyer beware” when you hire consultants and there is no getting your money back when the consultant fails to achieve the desired outcome. They’ll be counting the money and you’ll be far poorer than when you started with nothing to show for “trying”.

So the moral of this little planning story is that  when a “hope springs eternal”  guy – like our buddy Mr. Idiot Ridge” – connects with a land use consultant who feeds the “I’ll get you what you want” line to the client (more like “mark”), the consultant gets RICH and the client still loses – both the case and a lot of money.

In these hard times, the land use consultants are like vultures competing for carrion because there is next to nothing being planned because of the economy and the very restrictive land use rules.

A client with an insane land use proposal calls and the land use consultant screams “FISH ON” and then the consultant’s real work – the only work – of fleecing the pathetic “client” begins the minute the first check is written.

Then it is “carrot and stick” time – the consultant says “If only you spend just a little more so I can do more work you can get what you want”. That’s where the “if wishes were horses, beggars would fly” and “when Hell freezes over” part begins – because said land use consultant can read the case-law, understand the land use rules and, if ETHICAL, would have said in the face of the staff report “NO WAY, DON’T WASTE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON A LOSING CAUSE.”

But if the land use consultant tells the truth at the outset, he won’t get paid. And hey, there is nothing illegal about it if someone is dumb enough to pursue a dead issue, right? Just like the “proponents” of Idiot Ridge are fully empowered to wasted endless time stacking up “please, please, please let us abuse the neighborhood with noxious motocross” letters. It’s a waste of time because that’s not a germane issue – “wishes” don’t fly in conditional use – one neighbor’s objection trumps a million “we want, we wish” fan letters. That’s a FACT.

So party on Idiot Ridge and thanks for helping keep the coffers full for the land use consultant and that seedy  “noise expert”. At least we won’t have to go through anymore Comedy Club hearings after yesterday, since the County and the hearings officer are smart enough to know when to pull the plug.

Thank you hearings officer for sparing us another prolonged NON GERMANE history of Mr. Idiot Ridge! That’s the best news! And the second best new is that we won’t have to sit in a room with the sleazy MX promoters from Washougal, who should know better than to expect they’d get away with Idiot Ridge intact. But the open record part is a lot of fun because we can stuff the files with more FACTS why Idiot Ridge doesn’t conform as a forest use.

It will be cute to read those  ZERO VALUE support letters about “we need a place to ride”, “we don’t have a place to ride”, “my family loves to ride”, “the kids need a place to train”, “I sell lots of motorcycles and those people need a place to ride”, “Mike built a great (illegal) track and we want to ride there”, “Molalla needs business” arguments – those all count for less than nothing in this kind of conditional use case.

I just hope a couple of letters are honest enough to say “I am an irresponsible parent who lets my juvenile delinquent abuse people with MX noise because I can’t stand to have him near my home.”  Our better yet, why not throw in a lot of letters that say “I am an unshaven, next to illiterate MX rider who thinks it is my right to ruin someone else’s quality of life”? That’s at least the truth for a change – I had four people sitting in the front row at the hearing who perfectly fit the bill!

I truly can’t believe how gullible the MX hulks are – but thanks for the laughs and thanks for keeping the food and wine on the tables of those land use consultants. They are living in lean planning times and your “If wishes were horses, beggars would fly” nutty ideas sure do keep the dollars flowing out into the world. I smell a rip-off but that’s your choice…

What’s that expensive consultant saying about that “only for non-commercial use” pond project? That is causing mirth around the peaceful hills – another boulder has shaken loose from the “plans” that will help to crush Idiot Ridge! No one deserves it more than Mr. Idiot Ridge and the MX hulks. It sure seems nice Water Master isn’t happy about the attempts to fool him – he seemed like a real savvy guy to me. When he said “I’ve seen Koi ponds bigger” I though I’d bust a gut. I guess in a farm/timber zone the authorities don’t think it cute to waste water on nasty MX tracks for commercial use?I seem to remember that the Water Master warned about it in the water rights document – and didn’t the Forest Service say something about “noncommercial” ONLY in some permit as well?

The tangled web of Idiot Ridge lies is getting so big it is hard to keep it all straight – except INTENSIVE USE always applies to MX tracks, that’s written in stone. Shouldn’t the dusty, unwashed minions from Washougal whose names are all over those Washougal court cases – hi Elaine! hi, Steve! hi Mike! hi John! – have told Mr. Idiot Ridge about the legal tangles that ensue? Oh, I forgot again, those promoters and track builders and professional riders and MX crap designers are all about the same thing as the land use consultant – getting their greedy mitts into the public’s pockets to sell pathetic MX “fun”.

By the way, if there had been a “next hearing” the neighborhoods were going to step up and tell their life stories, too. Mine starts: “I was born and then I saw some trees and grass and flowers and insects and birds and snakes and streams and I loved it all and then I grew up and took responsiblity for making sure IDIOTS don’t abuse the environment……….”

Darn! It is over, too late to bore everyone like Mr. Idiot Ridge did with his “I’m tying to convince you that I am a nice guy” life history. News flash: People have short memories and the pictures and accounts of the travesty at Idiot Ridge are the only things that matter! Keep on a flushing those dollars on your silly lost cause, we are sure getting a huge kick out of that because abuse that goes around always comes around and it is coming back at Idiot Ridge in spades these days! Don’t you need to get ripped-off by a lawyer as well soon? They are all looking for work, too.

Final note to good old JohnU: In Oregon, citizens, via Goal One, don’t have to “get a license to hunt” scoff land use abuses – we ALREADY ARE EMPOWERED IN OREGON TO PILE ON AND TRASH THE ABUSERS! So why not sleaze back up to your own state and maybe try to get Cadillac Ranch back on the track (excuse pun) – I hear that’s a lost cause as well!

Go and find my post “Know when to hold em, know when to fold them……”

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