Monday, April 7, 2014

West Salem, NEN-SESNA, and SCAN: In the Neighborhoods this Week

As other bloggers and history entrepreneurs have pointed out, there used to be a big brewery downtown where the "sculpture garden" is today.

You know what the "sculpture garden" really needs?
A beer fountain for thirsty Salemites!*
(Janky composite with an assist: Salem Library Historic Photo)
And that was right next to the city's biggest hotel and on the same block as the armory.  Before zoning, things were a jumble.

How to manage industrial development is the topic this week of "Looking Forward," the update to the neighborhood plan for NEN and SESNA neighborhood associations.

West Salem - Monday

But that's on Tuesday.  First up, tonight on Monday, is the West Salem Neighborhood meeting.

There's what looks like a small street matter on a new development - "2825 Brush College Road NW Revised Notice of Filing – Street Layout Revision" - otherwise the agenda has the usual items.

But of course what is interesting is the perennial question for new development on the edges of West Salem: How is it that the development gets to proceed unchecked if that same development is what is driving the "need" for a billion dollar giant bridge and highway and most crucially gets to offload the cost for that bridge onto everyone else?

Both candidates for City Council in Ward 8 support the third bridge - and support asking everybody else to subsidize it. While Polk County is eliminating Sheriff patrols and emergency response, is building a giant bridge and highway really where community priorities should be?

Count 'em! A bridge will cost at least ten Courthouse Squares
(And even if you are committed to your car, here's why you should care: The cost of the bridge is at least ten times the cost of Courthouse Square or of a new Police Station/Civic Center upgrade. Imagine, demolishing the Derby building, constructing and then repairing Courthouse Square  - and then rinse and repeat ten times! That's the order of magnitude here.)

If you live in West Salem and aren't involved in the neighborhood association, it's a great time to get involved!

The West Salem Neighborhood Association meeting is at Roth’s West, Mezzanine level, at 1130 Wallace Rd NW on Monday, April 7th at 7pm.

Cherriots Route Coverage in West Salem
(Also, remember the Cherriots meeting about improving service in West Salem! That meeting is also at Roth’s West at 1130 Wallace Rd NW on Wednesday, April 9th from 5-7 p.m.)

Looking Forward, NEN-SESNA - Tuesday

Back to industry, one way to think about this kind of development is to think about breweries and the activity they attract and generate.  

Santiam Brewing on McGilchrist in an industrial park
Right now there's a strong clustering of Salem's nascent craft brewing industry in SESNA's industrial parks.  Gilgamesh (just outside of SESNA), Santiam, and Salem Ale Works are all pretty close together. Since the breweries don't have kitchens, food carts have found customers.  But the railroad and other roads create barriers and it is very difficult to walk or drive to these places.  Chemical or polluting scents and sights may also act as a brake on food consumption and lingering.  Industrial areas aren't places to relax and hang out.

But not all industry is wholly incompatible with residential areas.

In the streetcar era we used to have a better mixing.  Here's the Capital City Laundry, across the street from Broadway Commons.  In the NEN-SESNA area there's the Ice Cream Plant.  Corvallis and Portland also have breweries in downtown and on the arterials bordering residential neighborhoods.  Light industry to which workers can walk or bike from residential areas isn't necessarily a bad thing!

Capital City Laundry: Oregon State Library
Note the Oregon Electric lines and tracks on Broadway!
Of course in SESNA the airport is the 800-pound gorilla.  But the rail line has been important, and much of the topography was shaped by gravel mining. Industry is important here, and it's worth thinking more about the ways sort-and-separate is appropriate, and the ways sort-and-separate might have hindered vibrant city development. (Simple answers aren't likely:  Most things are more complicated than they seem!)

All meeting notes for the project are here and the full document library is here.

Looking Forward, the NEN-SESNA plan, meets Tuesday, April 8th at 6:30pm in Court Street Christian Church (1699 Court St NE).

SCAN - Wednesday

On the agenda for the South Central Association of Neighbors (Bush Park and McKinley area), is an update on the Hospital's parking lot and plans for Howard Hall at the Blind School property.

Last summer's iteration:  All about parking.
It's not clear how much the latest plan conforms to this one.
 (Howard Hall in lower left)
The South Central Association of Neighbors meets Wednesday, April 9th at 6:30 p.m. in the South Salem High School Library at 1910 Church Street SE.

* Like Henry Weinhard's idea for the Skidmore Fountain!

1 comment:

Laurie Dougherty said...

"Light industry to which workers can walk or bike from residential areas isn't necessarily a bad thing!"