Recommended Action: Direct staff to review the City's vehicle for hire regulations within Salem Revised Code (SRC) Chapter 30 for possible amendment to address newly emerging transportation network companies who utilize smart phone applications and the internet to link drivers with passengers in need of transportation, and prepare recommendations for amendments to the SRC to address issues raised by this new business model.This is a rapidly changing environment, and last summer there was a long piece in the Washington Post about how disruptive is the class of "transportation network companies" and their "smart phone applications." More recently, the New York Times noted "The average price of an individual New York City taxi medallion fell to $872,000 in October, down 17 percent from a peak reached in the spring of 2013, according to an analysis of sales data." The disruption is happening in all cities, everywhere.
The NEN-SESNA "Looking Forward" neighborhood plan continues to move, with a future report here for a December 8th appearance at Council, and it is amusing to note that one of its pieces is called "GLUM." The "Generalized Land Use Map" is glum. That's a piquant internal note on the effect that our proliferation of "shelf studies" and largely-ignored policy language has on advocates. So here's to "GLUM," maybe the most accurate component and effect in our planning toolkit.
There's not really a whole lot of substantial interest here, so mostly a list with little commentary. (There weren't enough four-letter words, like UBER and GLUM, to riff on. Maybe you'll see other four-letter words or have other thoughts?)
There's a federal grant of about $150,000 for playground, landscaping, and shelter improvements at Grant School.
A different federal grant of about $20,000 for police enforcement activity on seat belts, child safety seat, and cel phone usage.
Council amended a Planning Commission decision to delete a sidewalk connection to an Elementary School, and at Council is the final order on the amended decision. (See here for prior discussion.)
As expected, the fourth Fairview refinement plan for the Eric Olsen development was approved and the amendments/conditions look like technical, not substantive, details. (See here for previous notes.)
Council looks to restrict smoking further:
Recommended Action: Adopt Ordinance Bill No. 27-14 that would prohibit smoking on sidewalks and landscape strips within the public right-of-way adjacent to properties where smoking is prohibited, and advance Ordinance Bill No. 27-14 to second reading.The update on Food Carts looks small and not-very-interesting. That is to say, it's not broken, seems to be working, and it's minor tweaks only that might be necessary in the future.
There's information on candidates to replace Councilor-elect Jim Lewis in the Planning Commission. There's also the prospect circulating of allowing more than one "real estate/developer" types on the Commission. (See Salem Weekly articles here and here for more on this.)