Monday, December 18, 2017

West Salem Neighborhood Association to Talk Development and Driveway

In light of the Amtrak derailment and catastrophe between Olympia and Tacoma, it's hard to think about smaller, local things.

But the West Salem Neighborhood Association meets tonight and they've got a few items of interest on the agenda. 

There's a proposals for an apartment complex, identified in some of the drawings as "The Reserve West," on the old Lindbeck Orchards site above Orchard Heights Park. It looks like a compound, a gated community, all enclosed by a six-foot fence. That'll make Orchard Heights seem more zoomy than it already is! Can't we integrate apartment complexes into our neighborhoods better than this?

Concept drawings for "The Reserve"
(detail notes added)
Separately, there's also going to be some talk about a driveway on Glen Creek. I haven't been by lately. Does this exist already? If so, it's odd they didn't do a right-in, right-out only treatment. With traffic zooming down the hill, and the tricky bike lane transition also coming downhill, left turns either in or out of this driveway would seem especially problematic.

A problematic driveway on Glen Creek (from the agenda)
In the minutes from last month, of the SRC the Mayor said "we are not at a point where the current city council is in support of completing the environmental impact study at this time."

From the minutes
That would seem to conflict with statements to SKATS that the SRC is "not on hold" and the official calendar that envisions a mid-2018 completion.

Things don't add up at the moment!

There's also a curious and unclear statement about "sacred cows." Maybe that's just in passing and not useful to focus on. But I worry that in framing things as "sacred cows," even if in a humorous or ironic way, we close off possibilities for reasoned debate and analysis.

The West Salem Neighborhood Association meets tonight, Monday the 18th at 7:00 P.M. in Roth’s West, Mezzanine (1130 Wallace Rd NW).

Look at all the car storage area!!!
Meanwhile you might have seen this image in press for the West Salem Business District Code Clean-up project.

Consider for a moment the ratio of surface parking lot (mostly empty) to actual commerce-generating building. (Plus, all the carspace in the road.)

That is some swiss cheese!

Our parking minimums distort and check the productive capabilities of the land.


Whoops! That driveway and curb cut has been there the whole time!

Because there was nothing there, the driveway was invisible!
(April 2015)
Just never noticed it because there was nothing for it to connect with. But maybe now that's an issue with that area being developed.

Update, January 3rd

Indeed, as a commenter points out, the driveway is an issue with a proposed development.

Proposed site plan uses a driveway off Glen Creek
as the main entry. (Comments in red added)
The West Salem Neighborhood Association has appealed the Planning Administrator's decision to the Hearings Officer. It will be heard on January 10th. The appeal specifically questions several criteria the Class 2 Driveway Approach Permit apparently meets. The NA looks to have a pretty good case. The Staff Report defends the decision, but it does not at all assess the actual condition of biking downhil and contending with the large number of merging and crossing and turning movements by cars. It's like "hey, there's a bike lane; we're all good." Hopefully this is reversed or otherwise seriously revised, as this driveway on Glen Creek creates too many turning conflicts across many different travel modes. (Maybe we'll come back to this in a separate post.)


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Haha. Just never noticed that driveway on Glen Creek, but it's been there the whole time. Added a new pic and edit.

Anonymous said...

A developer has bought up a chunk of the land and businesses at that corner and plans to tear down most of the existing buildings including the bar on the corner. I have heard that they are looking at a basic strip mall set up, and really want a big chain restaurant to anchor the development. That driveway on Glen Creek will be an entrancement and s curve through the whole thing. It all seems like a horrible idea to me.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Anon is right. There is an appeal at the Hearings Officer on the 10th. Added a site plan and brief comment in an update. Maybe there will be more to say nearer the Hearing.