Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Proposed Fairview Park Could Include Pump Track; Hillcrest to be Sold

The Fairview Park Planning Process continues apace, and they've got a new survey out. The Salem Area Trail Alliance has been urging folks to vote for a bike park to be included.

Concept 2 shows a pump track on the slope to Old Strong Road
The parcel has been subdivided into three areas, each having four different possible primary uses. Four different concept maps show all 12 options, and the options could be shuffled of course in just about any combination - I don't think any pairs are mutually exclusive.

The four candidates for the sloped area next to Old Strong Road (at top of picture) are: pump track, dog park, disc golf, and loop trail.

The repair station in Riverfront Park (2014)
With a pump track, a repair station and shelter might be nice also.

It's hard to know what to say about parking. It is a "community park" not a "neighborhood park," and so it will draw from a larger "park shed" or service area.  There must be some amount of parking. I suppose the thing to say is "make sure there's not too much parking" and "make sure that auto circulation and parking lot configuration don't trump circulation and access for those arriving on foot, by bike, or on bus." There is an additional option for swimming pool and/or community center, but these would add to the parking requirements, and may shift the balance on the site too much from green to asphalt.

Finally, there is a chance to support interpretive history displays on Fairview and Le Breton Hall. Since there will be virtually nothing left, this easily seems appropriate.

The survey takes you through the three areas and asks for your preferred use in each.

Let the City know what you want! I suspect dog park and golf will get lots of support, so if you'd like to see a pump track, "vote early and often!"

Morningside and Hillcrest

(This is a copy-and-paste from yesterday. As the site is across the street from the Fairview Park parcel, it seemed like a much more natural fit here, and I will delete it from yesterday's post. I am adding a picture and caption.)

Hillcrest is adjacent to the Fairview property
the blue is zoned "public health" and any additional property
in the light foam green is "residential agriculture"
(City zoning map)
Finally, in last month's Morningside Neighborhood Association minutes there was a long note about deaccessioning Hillcrest. With Fairview and the State Hospital both in process, this parcel also coming into the market potentially makes a real glut in our stock of large blocks of former institutional property. That could be more complicating than helpful. This will be something to watch. (Building photos don't seem very common, so I don't know if this is a comment on security and privacy, or if that says something about the quality and usefulness of the architecture in potential reuse. It may be that there's not an effort to photograph until the historic assessment - see #1 below.)
Hillcrest Home Facility Closure Update – Rex Emery, Facilities Manager for Oregon Youth Authority – Rex reviewed the details of the property and planned process for closure of the 10 acre facility and shifting of the facility’s functions and clients to McClaren property in Woodburn – cited current under - use of O.Y.A. capacity making the move more feasible than continuing with this facility which is in need of seismic and other upgrades to conform to new requirements; As for the planned disposition of the property:

1) An assessment of historic significance (property not currently on either State or Federal historic registry) is necessary before considering any demolition or significant changes to the property – this could take about 18 months to complete;
2) Property is being listed as “Surplus” and will first be offered to other State agencies, and if refused, then to County and then City/local at fair market rate;
3) Affordable Housing – procedure rules require consideration;

Entire property is about 45 acres in size, includes 19 buildings – most built in the ‘50’s and early ‘ 60’s, not ADA compliant, and have some asbestos (and lead) issues despite extensive removal of such; Intent is to sell the property “As - is”; Rex mentioned our board’s stated concern that the facility be maintained and not allowed to deteriorate between closure and disposal, and assured that such will include continued heating, basic building and landscape maintenance and security presence;

[One resident]. asked about what recreational facilities there were on the property (given plans for nearby Fairview Park progressed too slow to save existing facilities for inclusion in the park), and Rex said they have an excellent gymnasium , outdoor basketball courts on pavement, a large in - ground swimming pool (donated to school in 1970’s by local women’s organization; [they] alluded to possibility of such facility being used to house and serve homeless population;

Discussion returned to facility history – Administration building is a brick structure built in 1927 (other structure built at that time burned down and was not replaced);

[Another resident] asked for clarification of timeline for final move, and Rex stated this will occur in June 2017; Rex said that he would like to return in about nine months to provide board with update on progress; Question was posed as to availability of the facility plans, and certain information on the plan to move the operation to McClaren – and Rex said he will be stationed at current office at Hillcrest for several more months, and could provide plans for anyone interested in the facility, etc.;

One last question... – about “where are the formerly incarcerated youths now (given the facility’s population is so far below capacity and or historic level )” – Rex cited improvement in focus of type treatment to individual needs, and discontinuance of “correctional/penitentiary” approach adopted in 1990’s and return to original model. End of presentation.

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