The EOA-HNA (how do you say this, the "EE-OH-AH, HUH-NUH?) nevertheless is interesting and possibly important because it is working the whole jobs/transportation/land-use/housing nexus. It remains, of course, to be seen whether it is a "shelf study" only or will result in funded policy actions.
But at maybe the largest city scale possible, it's looking at the shape of the city in space and also in time. And it's worth your attention and thought.
The official description:
The purpose of the EOA-HNA project is to analyze population, employment and market trends, and develop strategies to provide a sufficient land supply for housing, commercial and employment purposes to meet that need over a 20 year period. It is our intent to produce a work product that goes beyond the statutory requirements for an EOA and HNA and provide recommendations to enhance the relationship between the City's land use and economic development programs, address demonstrated housing needs, identify market trends and target industries, incent job growth, and inform policy decisions regarding residential, industrial and employment lands.One of the first memos is out, and the summary of the February 27th meeting has several interesting bits.
The "opportunities" in Salem are the usual suspects, but the "barriers" are worth a mention - both for moments of agreement, and for issues to contest:
- Salem has too little land for affordable and multi-family residential development. The City’s lacks sufficient flat, inexpensive land to develop for affordable housing. There is substantial opposition in the city to both infill residential development from established homeowners and to re-zoning land for multi-family housing.
- The hills create constraints that reduce residential development capacity, both for partially vacant land and for vacant land. The Regional HNA identified a substantial amount of partially vacant land in the south hills of Salem. Some of this development is relatively expensive housing, where there is little likelihood of development of new housing on partially vacant land.
- The City’s zoning standards, permitting, and development process create barriers for residential development. The City’s development standards lack sufficient flexibility to allow for development of a broader range of housing types. For example, the City’s policies should include a buffer zone that allows for a mix of higher-density single-family housing types and low-density multifamily housing types, such as townhouses, duplexes, and triplexes. In addition, the City’s policies should allow large-scale mixed-use-development.
- The City’s zoning standards create barriers for commercial development. The City’s zoning standards for some employment zones (i.e., IC) should allow more flexibility in the types of uses allowed.
- Salem’s annexation process is a barrier to bringing land into the city limits. A key barrier to new development is Salem’s annexation process, which makes it very difficult to annex land within the UGB into the city limits.
- Salem’s business climate and economic development policies make the City less attractive for some businesses. For example, the City is perceived as preferring to attract “clean” businesses, which discourages businesses that are not considered “clean” from locating in Salem. In addition, there is too little certainty about the City’s long-term economic development vision and implementing policies, which discourages the location of new businesses in Salem.
- Salem lacks sufficient trained workers to meet the needs of businesses. However, there are several educational institutions that businesses and economic development professional’s can work with to provide training opportunities that meet businesses’ needs.
|Downtown Surface Parking Lots in Red|
Parking Garages in Solid Brick Red
On-street parking stalls not included
click to enlarge (1 mb total, 1874 x 1114 px)
What are "unclean" businesses? In an era of climate change and environmental degradation, is a preference for "clean" industry actually so problematic? The costs of industries that require clean-up later are externalized in analyses like this, and if we are going to talk about dirty industry, we need to make sure we talk adequately about the real costs of that industry, actuarial costs that might include health outcomes measured over decades, for example.
Talk about annexation depends on cheap transportation, cheap car storage, and the growth ponzi scheme of subsidized infrastructure. Growth on the edges is almost certainly not sustainable in light of declining tax revenues and unfunded maintenance liabilities.
|Salem topographay - Oregon LIDAR|
Zoning is also a problem, too often used to support NIMBYism, stasis, and low-density, unwalkable development that requires more car storage. It's a self-consuming circle!
Overall, if this preliminary discussion sets the tone for the study as a whole, in many cases a thorough set of 20th century assumptions is behind what should be a 21st century analysis, and this may compromise the study going forward.
The group met again last week, and hopefully more meeting materials will be published and a better advance notice of meeting dates and times. Check out the project page for more information and links to the project documents.
There doesn't appear to be a list of the Advisory Committee Members, but here's an attendance list from the second meeting. Councilors and Council-candidates figure prominently, it's worth noting (also, it doesn't look very diverse, by income, ethnicity, or gender):
Committee Members Present: Sheronne Blasi, Rich Fry, Mike Erdmann, Larry Goodreau, Mark Grenz, Diana Lace, Jeff Leach, Jim Lewis, Eric Olsen, Chuck Bennett, Warren Bednarz, Daniel Benjamin, Mark Grenz, Alan Sorem
Staff Present: Lisa Anderson-Ogilvie, Eunice Kim, Glenn Gross, Kelly Kelly
Consultants: Bob Parker and Beth Goodman, EcoNW Consultants