But Council Rules are kinda boring and outside our scope here. So we'll get back to them in a moment.
|Neon at the Grand!|
(But on a Friday, the sidewalk was dark, alas)
The new sign on the Grand is great. On the agenda is an information report regarding the Hearings Officer's decision to permit a couple of sign wings to be enlarged. Once the corner cafe is operating again this could really enliven that corner.
|New median, enhanced crosswalk at 17th and Nebraska!|
(I believe this is the same plan that is perhaps even completed now at 17th and Mill.)
In slightly odd news, the City is filing to initiate Eminent Domain and Condemnation Proceedings on two projects, and one of them involves a parcel owned by Bednarz Holdings, Inc. So is the City having trouble negotiating with a business interest of a City Councilor? Makes you go, "hmm..."
The parcel in question is associated with the Commercial and Kuebler widening project, slated for construction in 2016.
The other project is at the Fisher Road extension to Market Street. Both are auto-centric projects on auto-centric streets, so there's not much more really to say.
The formal appeal on the Battle Creek apartments is on the agenda, and the formal Staff Response is rather brief, I think, as these things go.
|Site plan east of creek: Not enough parking?|
|The letter of appeal: "not enough parking"|
The proposed development provides 373 off-street parking spaces at a ratio of 1.8 spaces per dwelling unit, which is 71 spaces more than is required under the City's off-street parking chapter. Because the proposed development meets and exceeds the minimum off-street parking requirements of the SRC, there is no basis for a reduction in the number of dwelling units.The appeal looks weak. (For previous notes, see here and here.)
The Economic Opportunities Analysis will have a First Reading for formal adoption as a "support document" to the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan.
But the City and the consultant team omitted one of the most important variables. It's a decidedly 20th century document, and a discussion of greenhouse gases is a remarkable omission. (For previous notes see here.)
|EOA-HNA draft Report - Jan 2015|
(graph added from CO2 Now)
- Require advisory boards and commissions to vote to approve requests of staff for major projects that would require more than one hour of staff time (this is the same requirement that applies to Councilor requests of staff time)
- Require requests for exceptions to established Council policies to first be presented to Council, before an advisory board or commission considers or makes a recommendation on a request
- Require that items on an advisory board or commission agenda be within the scope of authority of the board or commission
- Allows Council to conduct a required second meeting of a month on the same date as the first meeting. In rare cases, usually around the holidays in December, there may be a dearth of agenda items for the second meeting of the month. Because the second meeting requirement is in the City Charter, the meeting must occur. This would allow that second meeting to occur on the same day as the first meeting if approved by Council in advance
- Provides procedures for quasi-judicial appeal hearings when the person appealing a decision is not the applicant
Doubling up on concurrent "second meetings" looks like something conducive to funny business without adequate public notice or participation.
The changes to procedures on quasi-judicial appeal hearings looks like it could restrict third-parties from appealing a decision. That one bears a close reading.
Together these don't look all that citizen-friendly.
- Discourages Council member use of non-city email for city business