Tuesday, January 23, 2018

State Street Corridor Study Advisory Committee meets Today

Tonight, on Tuesday the 23rd, the Advisory Committee for the State Street Corridor Study will meet at the Library at 4pm to talk about the proposed zoning.
The committee will review revisions to the proposed mixed-use zones on State Street as well as an analysis of development feasibility. The committee will also discuss the preferred street design
The chief element that seemed to be contested were the building heights, and both the MU-1 and MU-2 list 55 feet as the maximum at the moment.

At least in the published materials, it has not been discussed whether this will actually attract the development we want to have. Would 70 feet actually spur more reinvestment there?

It might seem great that the heights have been reduced in response to neighbor complaints, but if the reductions are such that they hamstring the whole concept and hinder or even halt the desired redevelopment, maybe the reduction isn't such a great idea after all.

Presumably the "development feasibility" discussion will touch on this.

Parking in back, forecourt alcove, corner entry
Still, there are lots of good things in the two zones:
  • The fronts of commercial buildings meet the sidewalk and have lots of windows
  • Forecourt alcoves can be featured as pockets of quasi public space
  • Parking in back
As for the street design, we should continue to lobby for a full 4/3 safety conversion. Doing it only half-way compromises its effectiveness!

(See previous notes on the State Street Study here, and for more specifically on the street here, here, and here most recently.)

The Committee meets Tuesday the 23rd, from 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. downstairs in the Anderson Rooms at the Library.

The new reading room, a lovely tribute - via City of Salem
If you go, while you're there, be sure to check out the new reading room where the periodicals desk and storage used to be. The lighting and art together point to some real possibilities for the rest of the interior, which is generally so dark and brooding. Maybe after the seismic work some of this can be extended to other spaces!

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