Thursday, July 17, 2014

Boulder Creek Development Omits Sidewalk on 12th Street

You might remember last fall a note about the Boulder Creek development.

Boulder Creek North - Arbuckle Costic
Note sidewalk and footbridge
The rendering showed a sidewalk along 12th Street and a footbridge across Clark Creek.

Because of an adjacent project to widen 12th Street from McGilchrist to Fairview, there seemed to be an agreement with the developer that the City was going to do this in conjunction with that project.

City widening project from McGilchrist to Fairview - CIP map
Note that it does not cross the creek!
(The new CIP map shows it 2014-16, btw)
The thing is, the widening project isn't on the north side of the creek.

Moreover, now that the lawn is in and the connecting walkways are poured, the line of the lawn doesn't look wide enough for a sidewalk, curb, gutter, and bike lane.

The termination of the lawn doesn't leave room for a sidewalk
(railings for Clark Creek culvert in foreground)
It doesn't add up!

Maybe the City truly is going to come through and put in the sidewalk here, but I'm worried that line of the lawn, where a sidewalk would abut, is placed on the assumption that there's not actually going to be a complete sidewalk and bike lane here.

(Also - why are we still putting parking lots in front!)

Food Carts

It's worth pointing out that the food cart ordinance started with a request from Councilor Dickey on December 9th at Council. 

Revised ordinances only took a little over half a year!
The revisions are substantial and on Monday passed unanimously in an uncontroversial fashion.

That seems to me a striking level of responsiveness by staff and Council. The City did well. Bravo!


Curt said...

Talk about urban monoculture. Boulder Creek is an exact duplicate of the office building down the street. #generica

Jeff Schumacher said...

Why does the City even have a Planning Department and a development code? Do they even have a plan whereby development will add to and improve the community? It sure seems like the City goes out of its way to make things way too easy for developers. The end result is sprawl and underutilization, and that is a shame.

Regarding Boulder Creek, if a developer couldn't make that project economically viable by including the cost of half street improvements, then the project shouldn't be built. It really is that simple.

Jim Scheppke said...

Yes, hat's off to the Salem City Council for doing the right thing on food carts. My friend La Guerita who has the taco tent on 12th and 25th won't have to move in September. If you haven't tried her tacos and tortas, do it!

The Council action on Monday wasn't really "uncontroversial." There was some passionate testimony from restaurant owners. The Mayor and Councilor Clem voted 'no' in December on Dickey's motion to study this. Glad they came around. For my friend La Guerita to have to move her entire business every six months bordered on government harassment.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

I do not know this particular Boulder Creek project, but I do know that sometimes street improvements are deferred if there is going to be a street project in the area in the next few years. Is that the case here?

Also to the comment by Jeff Schumacher, you are totally right. However, if you ask the planning director he will tell you that they job is to help a development happen. The city's role is to enable development. Now one can argue that the development should be good, but that is not their job either. It is to make sure it is meets minimum standards.

Public good is interpreted as promoting growth and development.

This is why the issues of who is on the planning commission, who is on council and what is in the Unified Development Code is so important to us all to monitor and try to influence. Unfortunately most people do not pay attention to these matters.

There will be an important worksession with Council on important changes to the UDC that will be worked on in the next year or so. It will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Anderson room at the Library.

Curt said...

Will people be able to ask questions at the worksession? Or will just be council deliberasting amongst themselves.

The city has great policy on the books right now. Over and over again staff goes out of their way to undermine it. That is why I'm less concerned about the specifics of what, and more concerned about staffs committment to implement it.

The city described in the comprehensive plan is not the city where I live. There is very little sign that it will ever be in my lifetime.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

Curt, Worksessions with Council never allow public comment or participation. We can sit and watch. Then after the meeting we can send e-mails or talk with individual councilors. There is a lot on the table that is both positive and potentially negative in the 'bucket list'. I urge you to contact Lisa or Eunice at the Planning Department to get on the mailing list. The documents that are on the City webpages are not up to date as of Friday, but hopefully will be soon.

Question on these changes is how much influence will the developers have and how much will the regular citizens have. This is what we hope to find out in the session where the City Council is supposed to give direction to staff on how to proceed.

Curt said...

Thanks Susann. I'm on the list. Its hard to justify attending these meetings to listen to others discuss the minutiae of new policy when staff stubbornly refuse to follow the planning policies we have had on the books for decades. Perhaps I will encourage council to direct staff to change this behavior.

Lee said...

The 12th street area has so much potential, but not with all these new medical/professional offices popping up. They all have the ugly suburban look to them with giant parking lots in the front. I would love to see some breweries in the area. It could be our poor mans Whitaker neighborhood in Eugene.