Friday, June 22, 2018

City Council, June 25th - State Street Study

Council meets on Monday and they'll start considering the recommendations from the State Street Study.

Ordinarily there has seemed to be a clear path to adoption, but because of a major autoist change recommended by the Planning Commission, as well as particularly vocal dissent from residents in the Court-Chemeketa Historic District, the Study has been contested and it's not obvious what Council will decide. The Staff Report lists four options:
  1. Set a public hearing before the City Council on the proposed amendments;
  2. Proceed straight to second reading for enactment;
  3. Refer the proposed amendments back to the Planning Commission for further deliberation; or
  4. Decline to advance the proposed ordinance.
The right thing to do is a full 4/3 safety conversion the full length of State Street.

Bowing to neighborhood politics, Staff Recommends only a four block section of conversion from 13th to 17th, but the Planning Commission didn't support even this and instead wants to maintain a set of four full auto travel lanes.

So the process still remains in thrall to our autoist appetite.

Separately, some residents from the Historic District tried to insist on an additional layer of Federalized process because of indirect effects from State Street onto Court Street properties.

The State of Oregon said, "Nope, not necessary."
On March 29, 2018, the City of Salem asked for a determination from the State as to whether a review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is required as part of the State TGM grant to the City of Salem for the State Street Refinement Plan (SSRP).

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) has researched the issue and advised us that such a Section 106 review was not required as part of the TGM Grant. The provision of funds from TGM to the City did not require a Section 106 review as the project is planning-level only and does not involve bricks and mortar activities or ground disturbance or excavation.
There's nothing new to say on the subject unfortunately.

For more detailed comment on the State Street Study, see these main posts:
(For all previous notes on the State Street Study see here.)

There's an update on the Age-Friendly initiative, and it points to our problems with the State Street Study:
The group will continue to gather more information for the remainder of the evaluation process with the primary goal of assessing: How does the community support people moving freely around Salem to connect to goods and services without the reliance on personal automobiles? [italics added]
Those with an interest in trees should pay close attention to the proposal at what had been our "sustainable" office park. The City proposes to make new lots to protect some trees, but cut down others in order to facilitate development.
Currently, proposed development, and potentially oak removal, on this property is subject to City Council (Council) review prior to approval of development plans. This adds complexity and uncertainty to the site plan review and permitting process. To provide greater certainty to potential developers, the proposed lot configuration will create two lots that will be platted and retained under City of Salem (City) ownership to protect the majority of Oaks on the property (Attachment 2). The City land use process will be followed to modify the existing approved subdivision for the property to create three large lots available for development.
This just looks a little funny, kinda greenwashy, and like more retreat from our "sustainable" goals. Maybe it's a good solution, but it deserves scrutiny.

And out at the airport there's a street vacation for a new access drive near 25th & Madrona. 

It looks like a nice weekend for the first one of Summer, and so enjoy it! Maybe we'll come back to this and think more deeply on these, or think about other items on the agenda. (Maybe not!)

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