Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Push for Carbon Cap? Also More on Fred Meyer Gas Station - Bits

Some interesting news coming out of this weeks Interim Committee meetings.
New Director of Urban Development
Is Wilsonville really what we should be trumpeting about her? Will she live in Salem or will she, like some other significant folks at the City, commute from Wilsonville? Wilsonville does some things better than Salem, but it doesn't have a downtown, and it bailed on Trimet. Not sure Wilsonville should be our model for an imaginary shift to a Department of Suburban Development! Urban, think urban!

Anyway, with the new City Manager, Steve Powers, there's some meaningful change at upper City management, and maybe some new directions to take. Fresh eyes aren't always a bad thing.

Presumably Mark Becktel, who had been Interim Director, will revert to his regular post at Public Works.

Just something to register and watch.

Fred Meyer Gas Station

So back in February this year, the Planning Commission heard "a consolidated Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment and Zone Change" on four contiguous lots very near the corner of Madrona and South Commercial.

From a sale listing after the rezoning was effected
The existing uses were "four multifamily cottages" from the 1940s and 50s. The Oregon Farm Bureau purchased them and an abutting lot to the north with an office building, which they used as the Natural Resources Center, in 2000. They wanted to exit and have the zoning tidied up and rezoned for commercial redevelopment.

The principal objection was that as multi-family housing, and with Salem facing a deficit of land appropriately zoned for this, no change should be made. In a split vote, the Planning Commission did not agree and rezoned the land for "commercial retail."

There didn't seem to be anything very meaningful to say, so we never wrote anything about it.

Well, you never know what turns up sometimes when you are researching a completely different matter!

Remember that brief mention about a gas station the Fred Meyer at Madrona was maybe going to do? A sale listing for the land that the Planning Commission rezoned turns out to have a site plan map for the proposed gas station, and it's actually across the street from Freds.

The proposed Fred Meyer gas station behind Taco Bell
The proposed enhanced crosswalks coming out of the Commercial-Vista Corridor Study would not be at this driveway, so it doesn't seem like increased car traffic making turns into the gas station would be immediately in the paths of people trying to cross the street.

The gas station driveway is right where
the second, inner bike lane stripe starts
and the transition to the right turn lane for cars.
But that's still an substantial chunk of high-turning movement auto travel right in this corridor. And it will complicate things with the bike lane, weaves for turn lanes, and the crosswalk between the two bus shelters.

Moreover, if a gas station is thought to represent a better and more profitable use of the land than the office building already there - how depressing is that?

Hopefully this will come in for a site plan review and maybe there will be more to say later.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Briefly, and maybe it's worth circling back on later - Clark Creek is culverted and runs nearly directly under this site proposed for a gas station. Seems like that's an important variable to consider.

Anonymous said...

The Fay Wright Neighborhood Assocation is appealing the gas station approval - see the end of this late add to Council's agenda:

They identify the turns as especially problematic.

The initial approval also includes a condition that the intersection of Madrona and Commercial be widened some with additional lanes and some traffic control changes.