|Resolution 2016-35 (detail)|
But of course it is not neutral, and is part of an attempted freight train to a pre-determined outcome.
So this will be tedious and scattershot, a giant wall of text, but here's the text of the resolution, some of the relevant State administrative rules, and some preliminary thoughts on them.
The City Resolution
From the City:
RESOLUTION NO. 2016-35A Couple of Relevant OAR Excerpts
A RESOLUTION INITIATING MAJOR COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENTS PERTAINING TO THE SALEM RIVER CROSSING PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE TO AMEND THE SALEM TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PLAN, MODIFY THE URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARY, TAKE AN EXCEPTION TO STATEWIDE PLANNING GOAL 15 (WILLAMETTE RIVER GREENWAY), AND AN AMENDMENT TO CHAPTER 64 OF THE SALEM REVISED CODE TO AMEND THE DEFINITIONS OF THE SALEM TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PLAN AND THE URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARY
Whereas, the Salem River Crossing refers to the environmental planning process that the City of Salem has been working on with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the City of Keizer, Marion County, Polk County, the Salem Area Mass Transit District, the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study, and the Federal Highway Administration to identify the preferred location for a new bridge crossing of the Willamette River in the Salem-Keizer area; and
Whereas, the Salem River Crossing Oversight Team recommended a preferred alternative in February 2014, and work is underway to document the preferred alternative in the Final Environmental Impact Statement; and
Whereas, the State Agency Coordination Rule (Oregon Administrative Rule 731-015-0075(3)) requires that ODOT rely on affected cities and counties to make all plan amendments and zone changes necessary to achieve compliance with the statewide planning goals and compatibility with local comprehensive plans prior to completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement; and
Whereas, land use actions are required to demonstrate consistency with Statewide Planning Goals 12 (Transportation), 14 (Urbanization), and 15 (Willamette River Greenway); and
Whereas, the Salem Transportation System Plan (TSP) is a component of the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan as referenced in Salem Revised Code (SRC) 64.015(a)(5); and
Whereas, it is necessary to amend the Salem TSP to include the project and make associated changes to maintain consistency with the Salem TSP and the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan; and
Whereas, the City of Salem and the City of Keizer share an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB); and
Whereas, the Salem River Crossing preferred alternative, including portions of Marine Drive NW, extend outside the UGB; and
Whereas, modifying the UGB to include approximately 35.7 acres needed to accommodate this regional transportation facility will address compliance with statewide planning goals; and
Whereas, the land proposed for inclusion in the UGB will be given a comprehensive plan designation of Parks, Open Space, and Outdoor Recreation; and
Whereas, pursuant to the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan, the cities of Salem and Keizer and the counties of Marion and Polk have adopted, by legal description, the Salem-Keizer UGB for the Salem and Keizer urban areas and shall review the UGB upon the request of one of the jurisdictions; and
Whereas, an amendment to the Salem-Keizer UGB may be initiated by any one of the four jurisdictions (cities of Salem and Keizer and counties of Marion and Polk), but the other affected jurisdictions must concur in the amendment; and
Whereas, the UGB is a component of the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan; and
Whereas, within urban areas, Goal 15 and OAR 660-004-0022(6) prohibit locating uses or structures that are not water-dependent or water-related within the Greenway setback without an exception; and
Whereas, as defined in statewide planning goals, roads and highways are not generally considered water-dependent or water-related uses; and Whereas, an exception to Goal 15 is necessary to allow the bridge project within the Greenway; and
Whereas, modifying the UGB, amending the Salem Transportation System Plan, and taking an exception to Statewide Planning Goal 15 are considered major comprehensive plan amendments under SRC 64.020(b); and
Whereas, major amendments to the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan must be initiated by the City Council as set forth in SRC 64.020(e)(1); and Whereas, an amendment to SRC Chapter 64, Comprehensive Planning, is required to update the definitions of the Salem Transportation System Plan (SRC 64.005(l)) and the UGB (SRC 64.005(o)); and
Whereas, amendments to the SRC may be initiated by the City Council pursuant to SRC 300.1110(a)(1); and
Whereas, major amendments to the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan and all code amendments are legislative procedures pursuant to SRC Chapter 300; and
Whereas, notification to the Department of Land Conservation and Development is required under SRC 300.1110(d); and
Whereas, at least one hearing is required in a legislative land use proceeding; and
Whereas, a public hearing shall be held before the City Council on the proposed major comprehensive plan amendments and the proposed amendment to SRC Chapter 64 and shall not be referred to any other review authority; and
Whereas, notice of the City Council public hearing shall be given in accordance with SRC 300.1110(e);
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SALEM, OREGON, RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. The City Council hereby initiates a comprehensive plan amendment and an amendment to SRC Chapter 64 to consider incorporating the Salem River Crossing preferred alternative into the Salem Transportation System Plan.
Section 2. The City Council hereby initiates a comprehensive plan amendment and an amendment to SRC Chapter 64 to amend the Salem-Keizer Urban Growth Boundary, and take an exception to Statewide Planning Goal 15, Willamette River Greenway.
Section 3. That a public hearing on the matter be set for a future date before the City Council.
Section 3. This resolution is effective upon adoption.
Here are a couple of sections of the OAR (660-012-xxxx) wrapped around the Statewide Planning Goals 12 (Transportation). It will be necessary to revisit these and perhaps cite more of them. It's a wall of text with an unindented hierarchy, and especially without the nesting it's hard to parse and see the most relevant portions.
660-012-0030How the heck are ordinary citizens supposed to engage this? This is totally structured for land use attorneys and those with specialist knowledge.
Determination of Transportation Needs
(1) The TSP shall identify transportation needs relevant to the planning area and the scale of the transportation network being planned including:
(a) State, regional, and local transportation needs;
(b) Needs of the transportation disadvantaged;
(c) Needs for movement of goods and services to support industrial and commercial development planned for pursuant to OAR chapter 660, division 9 and Goal 9 (Economic Development).
(2) Counties or MPO's preparing regional TSP's shall rely on the analysis of state transportation needs in adopted elements of the state TSP. Local governments preparing local TSP's shall rely on the analyses of state and regional transportation needs in adopted elements of the state TSP and adopted regional TSP's.
(3) Within urban growth boundaries, the determination of local and regional transportation needs shall be based upon:
(a) Population and employment forecasts and distributions that are consistent with the acknowledged comprehensive plan, including those policies that implement Goal 14. Forecasts and distributions shall be for 20 years and, if desired, for longer periods; and
(b) Measures adopted pursuant to OAR 660-012-0045 to encourage reduced reliance on the automobile.
(4) In MPO areas, calculation of local and regional transportation needs also shall be based upon accomplishment of the requirement in OAR 660-012-0035(4) to reduce reliance on the automobile.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 197.040 Stats. Implemented: ORS 195.025, 197.040, 197.230, 197.245, 197.712, 197.717 Hist.: LCDC 1-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-8-9; LCDD 6-2006, f. 7-13-06, cert. ef. 7-14-06; LCDD 1-2014, f. & cert. ef. 8-15-14
Evaluation and Selection of Transportation System Alternatives
(1) The TSP shall be based upon evaluation of potential impacts of system alternatives that can reasonably be expected to meet the identified transportation needs in a safe manner and at a reasonable cost with available technology. The following shall be evaluated as components of system alternatives:
(a) Improvements to existing facilities or services;
(b) New facilities and services, including different modes or combinations of modes that could reasonably meet identified transportation needs;
(c) Transportation system management measures;
(d) Demand management measures; and
(e) A no-build system alternative required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 or other laws.
(2) Local governments in MPO areas of larger than 1,000,000 population shall, and other governments may also, evaluate alternative land use designations, densities, and design standards to meet local and regional transportation needs. Local governments preparing such a strategy shall consider:
(a) Increasing residential densities and establishing minimum residential densities within one quarter mile of transit lines, major regional employment areas, and major regional retail shopping areas;
(b) Increasing allowed densities in new commercial office and retail developments in designated community centers;
(c) Designating lands for neighborhood shopping centers within convenient walking and cycling distance of residential areas; and
(d) Designating land uses to provide a better balance between jobs and housing considering:
(A) The total number of jobs and total of number of housing units expected in the area or subarea;
(B) The availability of affordable housing in the area or subarea; and
(C) Provision of housing opportunities in close proximity to employment areas.
(3) The following standards shall be used to evaluate and select alternatives:
(a) The transportation system shall support urban and rural development by providing types and levels of transportation facilities and services appropriate to serve the land uses identified in the acknowledged comprehensive plan;
(b) The transportation system shall be consistent with state and federal standards for protection of air, land and water quality including the State Implementation Plan under the Federal Clean Air Act and the State Water Quality Management Plan;
(c) The transportation system shall minimize adverse economic, social, environmental and energy consequences;
(d) The transportation system shall minimize conflicts and facilitate connections between modes of transportation; and
(e) The transportation system shall avoid principal reliance on any one mode of transportation by increasing transportation choices to reduce principal reliance on the automobile. In MPO areas this shall be accomplished by selecting transportation alternatives which meet the requirements in section (4) of this rule.
(4) In MPO areas, regional and local TSPs shall be designed to achieve adopted standards for increasing transportation choices and reducing reliance on the automobile. Adopted standards are intended as means of measuring progress of metropolitan areas towards developing and implementing transportation systems and land use plans that increase transportation choices and reduce reliance on the automobile. It is anticipated that metropolitan areas will accomplish reduced reliance by changing land use patterns and transportation systems so that walking, cycling, and use of transit are highly convenient and so that, on balance, people need to and are likely to drive less than they do today.
(5) MPO areas shall adopt standards to demonstrate progress towards increasing transportation choices and reducing automobile reliance as provided for in this rule:
(a) The commission shall approve standards by order upon demonstration by the metropolitan area that:
(A) Achieving the standard will result in a reduction in reliance on automobiles;
(B) Achieving the standard will accomplish a significant increase in the availability or convenience of alternative modes of transportation;
(C) Achieving the standard is likely to result in a significant increase in the share of trips made by alternative modes, including walking, bicycling, ridesharing and transit;
(D) VMT per capita is unlikely to increase by more than five percent; and
(E) The standard is measurable and reasonably related to achieving the goal of increasing transportation choices and reducing reliance on the automobile as described in OAR 660-012-0000.
(b) In reviewing proposed standards for compliance with subsection (a), the commission shall give credit to regional and local plans, programs, and actions implemented since 1990 that have already contributed to achieving the objectives specified in paragraphs (A)–(E) above;
(c) If a plan using a standard, approved pursuant to this rule, is expected to result in an increase in VMT per capita, then the cities and counties in the metropolitan area shall prepare and adopt an integrated land use and transportation plan including the elements listed in paragraphs (A)–(E) below. Such a plan shall be prepared in coordination with the MPO and shall be adopted within three years of the approval of the standard.
(A) Changes to land use plan designations, densities, and design standards listed in subsections (2)(a)–(d);
(B) A transportation demand management plan that includes significant new transportation demand management measures;
(C) A public transit plan that includes a significant expansion in transit service;
(D) Policies to review and manage major roadway improvements to ensure that their effects are consistent with achieving the adopted strategy for reduced reliance on the automobile, including policies that provide for the following:
(i) An assessment of whether improvements would result in development or travel that is inconsistent with what is expected in the plan;
(ii) Consideration of alternative measures to meet transportation needs;
(iii) Adoption of measures to limit possible unintended effects on travel and land use patterns including access management, limitations on subsequent plan amendments, phasing of improvements, etc.; and
(iv) For purposes of this section a "major roadway expansion" includes new arterial roads or streets and highways, the addition of travel lanes, and construction of interchanges to a limited access highway
(E) Plan and ordinance provisions that meet all other applicable requirements of this division.
(d) Standards may include but are not limited to:
(A) Modal share of alternative modes, including walking, bicycling, and transit trips;
(B) Vehicle hours of travel per capita;
(C) Vehicle trips per capita;
(D) Measures of accessibility by alternative modes (i.e. walking, bicycling and transit); or
(E) The Oregon Benchmark for a reduction in peak hour commuting by single occupant vehicles.
(e) Metropolitan areas shall adopt TSP policies to evaluate progress towards achieving the standard or standards adopted and approved pursuant to this rule. Such evaluation shall occur at regular intervals corresponding with federally-required updates of the regional transportation plan. This shall include monitoring and reporting of VMT per capita.
(6) A metropolitan area may also accomplish compliance with requirements of subsection (3)(e), sections (4) and (5) by demonstrating to the commission that adopted plans and measures are likely to achieve a five percent reduction in VMT per capita over the 20-year planning period. The commission shall consider and act on metropolitan area requests under this section by order. A metropolitan area that receives approval under this section shall adopt interim benchmarks for VMT reduction and shall evaluate progress in achieving VMT reduction at each update of the regional transportation system plan.
(7) Regional and local TSPs shall include benchmarks to assure satisfactory progress towards meeting the approved standard or standards adopted pursuant to this rule at regular intervals over the planning period. MPOs and local governments shall evaluate progress in meeting benchmarks at each update of the regional transportation plan. Where benchmarks are not met, the relevant TSP shall be amended to include new or additional efforts adequate to meet the requirements of this rule.
(8) The commission shall, at regular intervals, evaluate the results of efforts to achieve the reduction in VMT and the effectiveness of approved plans and standards in achieving the objective of increasing transportation choices and reducing reliance on the automobile.
(9) Where existing and committed transportation facilities and services have adequate capacity to support the land uses in the acknowledged comprehensive plan, the local government shall not be required to evaluate alternatives as provided in this rule.
(10) Transportation uses or improvements listed in OAR 660-012-0065(3)(d) to (g) and (o) and located in an urban fringe may be included in a TSP only if the improvement project identified in the Transportation System Plan as described in section (12) of this rule, will not significantly reduce peak hour travel time for the route as determined pursuant to section (11) of this rule, or the jurisdiction determines that the following alternatives can not reasonably satisfy the purpose of the improvement project:
(a) Improvements to transportation facilities and services within the urban growth boundary;
(b) Transportation system management measures that do not significantly increase capacity; or
(c) Transportation demand management measures. The jurisdiction needs only to consider alternatives that are safe and effective, consistent with applicable standards and that can be implemented at a reasonable cost using available technology.
(11) An improvement project significantly reduces peak hour travel time when, based on recent data, the time to travel the route is reduced more than 15 percent during weekday peak hour conditions over the length of the route located within the urban fringe. For purposes of measuring travel time, a route shall be identified by the predominant traffic flows in the project area.
(12) A "transportation improvement project" described in section (10) of this rule:
(a) Is intended to solve all of the reasonably foreseeable transportation problems within a general geographic location, within the planning period; and
(b) Has utility as an independent transportation project.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 197.040, 197.245 Stats. Implemented: ORS 195.025, 197.040, 197.230, 197.245, 197.712, 197.717 Hist.: LCDC 1-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-8-91; LCDC 3-1995, f. & cert. ef. 3-31-95; LCDC 4-1995, f. & cert. ef. 5-8-95; LCDD 6-1998, f. & cert. ef. 10-30-98; LCDD 6-2006, f. 7-13-06, cert. ef. 7-14-06; LCDD 1-2014, f. & cert. ef. 8-15-14
Some Meandering Thoughts on Lines of Attack
In any event, effective critique of the UGB expansion and of the Salem River Crossing generally will need to be framed in these terms, especially as the local politics will almost certainly end in approval, and the argument will need to be framed for an appeal to LUBA. At least that's how I see it.
It seems like one important center for critique is 660-012-0035(4) and (5):
In MPO areas, regional and local TSPs shall be designed to achieve adopted standards for increasing transportation choices and reducing reliance on the automobile. Adopted standards are intended as means of measuring progress of metropolitan areas towards developing and implementing transportation systems and land use plans that increase transportation choices and reduce reliance on the automobile. It is anticipated that metropolitan areas will accomplish reduced reliance by changing land use patterns and transportation systems so that walking, cycling, and use of transit are highly convenient and so that, on balance, people need to and are likely to drive less than they do today.Another is 660-012-0035(3)(d): "The transportation system shall minimize conflicts and facilitate connections between modes of transportation."
MPO areas shall adopt standards to demonstrate progress towards increasing transportation choices and reducing automobile reliance as provided for in this rule
660-012-0035(5)(c) is possibly relevant:
If a plan using a standard, approved pursuant to this rule, is expected to result in an increase in VMT per capita, then the cities and counties in the metropolitan area shall prepare and adopt an integrated land use and transportation plan including the elements listed in paragraphs (A)–(E) below. Such a plan shall be prepared in coordination with the MPO and shall be adopted within three years of the approval of the standard. [italics added]It will be necessary to dive in more and revisit these. Do you see any promising wedges for critique? There are several more sections of 660-012-xxxx not cited here!
In the Comprehensive Plan (Section IV. Salem Urban Area Goals and Policies, J. Transportation) itself there is language that has not been sufficiently recognized by the SRC:
12. The implementation of transportation system and demand management measures, enhanced transit service, and provision for bicycle and pedestrian facilities shall be pursued as a first choice for accommodating travel demand and relieving congestion in a travel corridor, before widening projects are constructed.One thing that is really fascinating, is that the OAR 660-012 rules don't seem to contain any language about projections and modeling. Since it is silent on that, it may not be possible to critique the bogus modeling on the SRC, even though the Feds, Washington, California, and Wisconsin have all voluntarily - or been required to in Wisconsin's case - modify traffic forecasting models and standards.
13. The Salem Transportation System Plan shall identify methods that citizens can use to commute to work and decrease overall traffic demand on the transportation system. Such methods include transit ridership, telecommuting, carpooling, vanpooling, flexible work schedules, walking, and bicycling.
18. The Salem Transportation System Plan shall identify methods that employers can use to better facilitate the commute of their employees, encourage employees to use alternative travel modes other than the SOV, and decrease their needs for off-street parking.
|A Federal Judge criticized a Wisconsin highway project|
Another source for critique, which we'll have to discuss around Goal 14 and OAR 660-024 (remember, that's 660-012 above!), is from the DLCD letter:
The second major step requires that Salem prove that the need cannot reasonably be accommodated (language in both Goal 14 and in 660-024 implementing rules) inside the existing Salem-Keizer UGB. This is probably the most important and difficult step in the analysis. For example, the findings will have to show that the alternatives that involve widening the existing bridges only, or adding a new bridge next to the existing bridges in the urban growth boundary, do not reasonably accommodate the need.
|From the DEIS, Chapt. 2 on Alternative 2A|
But it confuses me a little. While they are right about important parts of this, this line of attack also requires a deviation and even escape from "the process." The process settled on the "Salem Alternative," a version of 4D-lite. Councilors will say, "we already decided this." On a somewhat similar matter, Councilor Andersen has said
Those views [in favor of a smaller police station], while heard, did not prevail. If there is a good process, as I believe there was here, the end result, while not always one's first choice or the outcome originally desired, should be supported. After the process was completed, it is vital to have a united council moving forward on this much needed matter.Even if Councilor Andersen himself does not use it here, in general this is likely the reasoning that will be used against 2A by other Council members.
It seems instead like critique of the SRC will have to occur within the bounds of "the process" and advocating for 2A may not be effective - even if it is in important ways "true" or "truer" or "better." Instead it will need to be a critique of the Salem Alternative and the way it fails to meet Statewide Planning Goals (and other criteria). Of course, if it turns out there is overwhelming support for a reversion to a 2A approach, maybe it will after all be possible to burst the NEPA process and force a reassessment. But in an uncritical way most people seem to believe "congestion is terrible; we need a new bridge!" and this backwards detour seems unlikely.
|The Preferred Alternative won't fix congestion|
In the SKATS area, analysis for the Salem River Crossing Study and draft EIS show multiple locations in the study area where v/c [volume-to-capacity] ratios exceed the mobility standards in the base year conditions. The analysis also shows that with the proposed changes in the Preferred Alternative there will be locations where forecasted traffic conditions in year 2035 will exceed the mobility targets.This is information that should be public, since it represents an edit to the DEIS, before we consider the UGB expansion and Goal Exception process. It was supposed to come out in "early 2016," but so far nothing. If SRC staff are withholding it, that's a low move.
But this is all "just thinking out loud here" and it is not possible to be certain about anything at the moment.
Obviously, there is much more on the UGB matter to follow this summer and fall.