SB 766 will accomplish two important goals on lands that are already planned and zoned for industrial use. First, the bill will speed up permitting processes for significant industrial projects (project developers will pay for the expedited process). Second, the bill will protect prime industrial lands from conversion to other uses and unnecessary overlays and restrictions, by designating at least 5 and up to 15 “Regionally Significant Industrial Areas.”

The mechanism to accomplish both of these objectives will be an Economic Recovery Review Council that will consider projects for expedited permitting and designate Regionally Significant Industrial Area. The Review Council will include the heads of Business Oregon, ODOT, DLCD, DEQ and DSL.

This bill is supported by business groups, labor groups and the Governor’s office. It’s not a panacea for Oregon’s industrial land problems, as it does not address the need for increased industrial land supply, infrastructure financing, land aggregation, brownfields and other key issues, but it does help Oregon do a much better job putting the industrial lands that it does have to use creating jobs.

We applaud the Governor’s Office, Senator Beyer, the Senate Economic Development Committee, The Transportation and Economic Development Subcommittee of Ways and Means, and the Ways and Means Committee for their leadership in seeing this bill through so far, and strongly encourage members of the House and the Senate to vote in favor of this bill when it reaches the floor of each Chamber.