Monday, October 16, 2017

Edgewater District Zone Clean-Up Meeting on the 18th

Zoning proposal for close-in West Salem
After months of seeming quiet, the West Salem Business District planning process has published a proposal for re-zoning for the most close-in parts of the flats on and around Edgewater.
The West Salem Zone Code Clean-up intends to streamline zoning regulations in certain areas along Edgewater Street NW, 2nd Street NW, and Wallace Road NW by removing overlay zones and creating single zones that contain more flexibility for commercial and mixed-use development. The project seeks to implement the recommendations from the West Salem Business District Action Plan, consistent with earlier studies of the area.
The draft proposal is here.

Detail on the proposed "business district" zone
(Comments in red added)
The proposed "Craft Industrial" corridor and extension of the existing "Edgewater/2nd Street Mixed-use" corridor look relatively straight-forward. Maybe you will see something worth more comment. From here the most interesting part seemed to be the "Central Business District" concept.

Parts of it worth noting (quoted from the draft):
  • Building setbacks are minimal, in order to encourage buildings placed up to the street and side property lines to make maximum use of the land; creating a built form that supports a vibrant mixed-use Central Business District for West Salem.
  • The draft standards include a requirement that a minimum of 50 percent of the front setback line of any individual lot shall be occupied by a building. A requirement that all off-street surface parking areas and vehicle maneuvering areas shall be located behind or beside buildings and structures is also proposed. Off-street surface parking areas and vehicle maneuvering areas would not be allowed to locate between a building or structure and a street.
  • There isn’t enough land to reasonably expect that all of these streets could be widened to the City’s standard 60-foot-wide right-of-way for local streets....A narrower local street standard is proposed for the interior area of the WSCB zone including the land around Veall Lane NW, Moyer Lane NW, and Bartell Drive NW. The draft narrow street standard is an approximate 45-foot-wide right-of-way width, two-way streets with shared-use travel lanes for both vehicles and bicycles, with on-street parking where possible, and sidewalks that include basic amenities like small street tree wells. If this narrow street standard is acceptable to the community, then a more refined street design would be developed and adopted into the final draft of the zoning code changes.
They're still working on parking requirements, and it is at least possible that they'll "Allow market demand to determine off-street parking needs."

The draft plan is also silent on Marine Drive, the Second Street extension and under/overcrossing, and any street or path connections from the railroad alignment. Since that is all in flux and contested, perhaps this is not surprising.

There will be a kind of Open House on Wednesday the 18th: "Joint Work Session Meeting of the West Salem Renewal Advisory Board (WSRAB) and Project Stakeholders."

It'll run from 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. at Roth’s in West Salem, 1130 Wallace RD NW.

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