Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kuebler Interchange Attracts Shopping Center Interest

You might already know about the Pactrust development at 27th and Boone Road. It's been in the works for a few years now. You will also remember the attempt to spec a diverging diamond interchange for Kuebler and I-5. There's lots going on here.

27th and Kuebler is attracting shopping center interest
(Pactrust already zoned CR - commercial retail,
map via City of Salem Zoning)
And just kitty-corner from the Pactrust project, there's a new shopping center development proposed on a parcel of land zoned for residential agriculture. It's also very near to the new State Police facility site.

Over at SCV and the Morningside Neighborhood Association they've been talking about it for a couple of days now.

Pactrust Center already in the works (red CR zone above)
via SCV and Morningside
New proposed center (currently zoned RA)
via SCV and Morningside
Do we need another of this kind of big-box, big-parking-lot, car-dependent shopping center?

Or would we be better served with neighborhood-scaled commercial centers more like what is envisioned for the Fairview projects or the old Pringle School?

And will any development here be required to improve the bike lanes and sidewalks on Kueber - full separation would be very useful here!

The unapproved project would be dependent on a zoning change, so there's at least some leverage there to reshape the project to be less hideously auto-oriented. Currently it's "residential agriculture" and would need to be changed to "commercial retail" or something like it.

But without a command-and-control type planning system - which we don't want - there's not much of a way to steer commercial development away from these green fields to the Fairview redevelopments or Pringle School project instead.

So with the way our zoning is currently configured, there's not a great deal of opportunity for walkable small-scale neighborhood commercial development. In the absence of that, big-box parking lots seem to be the primary alternative.

This will be something to watch.