Sunday, April 10, 2016

In the Neighborhoods this Week: SCAN, Morningside, Lansing-NESCA

In the neighborhoods this week there is news about a possible new mural in Sleepy Hollow, about the Wilco store on South Commercial, and a reminder about the Lansing-NESCA plan.

SCAN - Wednesday

At SCAN, the minutes from the last meeting have a couple of interesting items.

Mural proposed for 1198 Commercial St SE
The Assistance League has proposed a mural for the north side of Encore Furniture. (That would be for the blank wall that faces the restaurant.) The building has lots of blank walls, so just about anything would be a small delight!

There was also news that the Hospital is going to sell the Everson House on the corner of Church and Mission Street instead of making it into a quasi B on B or temporary housing for institutional use. It's not clear whether the Hospital has grown tired of the neighborhood's criticism and decided it wasn't worth continuing with the project. Or perhaps they genuinely reassessed internal needs and realized it was no longer needed.

New concrete at sidewalk
on Church St. at corner with Mission St.
(January 2016)
One of the criticisms is that the concrete forms for the playground might already be departing from approved plans on the playground and sidewalk. Another is about the intensity of institutional lighting at the rehab facility and parking lot. Even if you might think there was a measure of NIMBYism in the objections, the Hospital has not been a good neighbor.

Is there a bigger, older oak in SCAN?
(pictured in 2011, near Fir and Bush
in Sleepy Hollow also)
More positively, one item on the agenda looks interesting and a possible source for creativity: "Citizen Science and SCANning our Oregon White Oaks, Dr. David Craig, Willamette University."

The dip along Mission between Fairmount Hill and Gaiety Hill
used to be called Sleepy Hollow (June 17th, 1912)
(One of these days I'll try to write more about "Sleepy Hollow" to go with Piety Hill, Gaiety Hill, and the rest of our early neighborhood geographical names. There aren't a lot of citations, and I don't think it has been written about. Do you know of any research or discussions of it? Update - here's more on Sleepy Hollow.)

The South Central Association of Neighbors meets Wednesday the 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the South Salem High School Library, 1910 Church St SE.

Morningside - Wednesday

Wilco: Non-binding Commercial-Vista Corridor Plan?
On the remodel of the old Safeway store into a new Wilco store, the neighborhood association asks about the Commercial-Vista Corridor study and its recommendations:
[The association asked about] an extension of the comment period for the Wilco store (old Safeway building at Commercial and Ratcliff) plan review, so we could submit our comments on their plan and weigh in on whether or not City should approve their parking lot and landscaping plan which calls for less spaces than required for the old grocery store parking, but six more spaces than code allows for hardware store parking; her concern was that – though Wilco plans to add landscaping within the parking lot, it does not provide the amenities called for in the recently - adopted South Commercial Street Corridor plan – specifically, trees and landscaping between the sidewalk and parking lot...
I don't believe that the study has been formally adopted by Council or its recommendations adopted as TSP amendments. So without more information it's hard to say where the fault in the process might be. The City might not yet be in a position to require that the development conform to the study's recommendations. At the same time, it would be a real missed opportunity.

The Morningside Neighborhood Association meets at Pringle Creek Community Painters Hall,  3911 Village Center Drive SE on Wednesday the 13th at 6:30 PM.

Lansing-NESCA Plan - Tuesday

The Lansing-NESCA neighborhood plan update project kicks off this week and the first meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12th at Salem First Church of the Nazarene, which is located at 1550 Market Street NE. (Some additional notes here.)


Anonymous said...

"It's not clear whether the Hospital has grown tired of the neighborhood's criticism and decided it wasn't worth continuing with the project. Or perhaps they genuinely reassessed internal needs and realized it was no longer needed."

The latter. This is an institution. That's how institutions think. Despite "the neighborhood's" projections.

"Even if you might think there was a measure of NIMBYism in the objections, the Hospital has not been a good neighbor."

I like SBOB because it is generally fair-minded and its statements tend to be supported by evidence and argument, but this theme, which has appeared before, strikes me as inconsistent with the spirit of "It is the hope here that we debate policy and not people."

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Well, NIMBY is a policy stance on development and growth. But many read it as a personal insult instead, it's true. That's a fair criticism and represents an on-going struggle to locate a particular line of thinking.

Look at how much criticism the Lord & Schryver museum got. That's pretty benign! (Here's a longer argument about "encroachment" along Mission Street.) And at the Blind School what neighbors really seemed to want was a parky ornamental emptiness rather than a mixed-use or other development. It is hard to conclude that the immediate neighborhood here is interested in anything other than avoiding change. I have had a post in the works for several months about this.

Very briefly, in a nutshell, the claim is that the Gaiety Hill-Bush Park Historic District itself (and our other HDs) is fundamentally based on a fairly static perspective of historical change and includes a large portion of NIMBYism (or whatever you want to call it):

"Since the late 1970's, there have been no major intrusions within the district. Major intrusions have not occurred partly because of an economic slowdown and a trend toward residential upgrading and the desirability of living in the close-in, inner city neighborhood." (etc)

In that National Register nomination and listing for the Historic District submitted in 1986, there is an impressive rhetoric on the threat of "intrusions," on historic purity/integrity, and on the need for boundary maintenance. (It's a little weird, actually!)

I read the dispute with the Hospital both in terms of the Hospital being a bad neighbor and in terms of the neighborhood wanting to avoid "intrusions," "encroachment," or change of any kind. It is a dispute not simply on the merits of the development itself.

If a high-quality development had been proposed for the Blind School parcel, would the neighborhood criticism here at this stage be so much different? I believe there would still be substantial criticism.

The original sin here seems to be that the Hospital is changing the neighborhood with an intrusion, not that the Hospital is proposing and executing a low-quality project.

If NIMBYism is not a useful term to describe the deep context of resistance to and definition of "intrusions," what is a better way to describe the general resistance to change that is above and beyond criticism on the merits of any particular project?

(And we will see this at the North Campus of the State Hospital also. Downtown and neighborhood parking is also like this. You are right to point out that we need a more neutral framework to discuss resistance to change that is in excess of criticism on the merits. Do you have ideas? We need a theory or a better theory of high-quality neighborhood change, particularly for Historic Districts!)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

There's more on the mural...

From the City:

"The Salem Public Art Commission will hold a public hearing at 12:00 pm, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in the Public Works Traffic Control Conference Room, Civic Center, Salem, Oregon, to receive testimony on the proposed new mural to be located on the north-facing fa├žade of the building located at 1198 Commercial Street SE. The application and supporting materials will be available online no later than 5:00 p.m., March 18, 2016."

Here's the Staff Report, recommending approval.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! My boyfriend told me I'd better look at your response, which I didn't, then he told me today about the latest blog, and said I'd better look at it, 'cause it looked like a further meditation on your response, so I did, and I have to laugh: it wasn't the reference to NIMBYism that bothered me, it was the reference to the Hospital as not being a good neighbor that raised my eyebrow. To be clear, I have no problem with your referring to the neighbors' collective attitude toward "intrusions" as NIMBYism, there's evidence aplenty of that. Now I feel bad that I didn't do as my boyfriend told me. I hate it when he's right.