So it looks like Staff are dissatisfied with the way the State Street Plan shook out? Not only is the Plan back on the agenda, Staff appear to be hinting strongly for some additional tweaks.
The report says "Staff has provided additional information below for consideration." (hint, hint)
|From a previous presentation and earlier round of height reduction|
From the Staff Report:
- The maximum building height abutting National Register Residential Historic Districts could be lowered to 50 feet in the MU-2 zone to ensure that the lower height applied to all MU-1 and MU-2 properties abutting the Court-Chemeketa Residential Historic District.
- A maximum building height of 45 feet may or may not accommodate a four-story building that complies with the development standards in the MU-1 zone. Further reducing building heights could hinder the development potential of properties on State Street. It could also result in the development of fewer multifamily units, which are needed in Salem. The 2015 Housing Needs Analysis specifically determined that the Salem area has a projected 207-acre deficit of land for multifamily housing based on a 20-year population projection.
- Staff conducted outreach to property owners during the State Street Corridor Plan project to discuss the proposed MU-1 and MU-2 zones and how their properties, if rezoned, would be impacted. In those property owner meetings, staff first presented the proposal of a maximum height of 65 feet in the MU-1 zone and later presented the lower 55 feet maximum height. For properties in the Commercial Office (CO) zone, this represented a reduction from the maximum building height of 70 feet allowed today. (The CO zone is adjacent to the Court-Chemeketa Residential Historic District between 14th and 17th streets). Staff did not propose a lower height of 45 feet when meeting with property owners that could be rezoned to MU-1 or MU-2.
- The overall maximum building height in the MU-1 zone could be increased to 65 feet, as previously proposed by staff, to offset a further reduction in height to 45 feet for properties abutting National Register Residential Historic Districts. This would help ensure that the MU-1 zone retained its overall development potential, aligning with findings of the economic analysis conducted as part of the State Street Corridor Plan project. That analysis found that there is more momentum for redevelopment in this western half of State Street due to its proximity to catalyst areas such as Willamette University, the State Capitol, and downtown.
|Four stories of retail and housing: Ideal|
|Doesn't pencil out|
Public Comment on the plan has been heavy on neighbors who don't want development along State Street and citizens who want State Street to remain a traffic sewer, draining downtown and serving regional movement, instead of reverting to an older main street type.
But there wasn't a lot of comment from prospective developers or property owners who said "yeah, this will get me moving."
Unfortunately there is no more detail on which lot is proposed for a park. If it's the lot on the north side of State Street at 21st, that seems like unnecessary ornamental emptiness. But if it's the lot between Muchas Gracias and the corner convenience store, that lot has creek access, which is rare in Salem for parks, and it might make a very nice small park.
On the Safe Routes applications, as they did in May with the All Roads Transportation Safety Program, rather than listing specific projects for Council, Staff is merely asking for a conceptual approval in general and then will come back at a later date with the specific projects.
Given the short timeline between availability of project solicitation (July 23) and deadline for Notice of Intent (August 31), staff is recommending that City Council authorize the City Manager to submit letters of intent. Staff will return to Council for approval to submit final applications prior to the October 15 deadline.So there's not a whole lot to say here other than "yay!"
Though it may not look terribly important, the proposal to
remove both sides of Winter Street SE between Ferry Street SE and Bellevue Street SE from the adopted Pay to Park District included in the City’s Transportation System Plan (TSP), remove parking technology equipment recently installed within this area, and direct staff to work with Willamette University and the Citizen Advisory Traffic Commission (CATC) to establish time limitations as indicated in the TSPmay be meaningful. Seven pay stations were installed on that stretch of Winter Street in June, and Willamette University said "whoa there."
Back in 2009, the WU Campus Facilities Master Plan identified Winter Street as vacated and as a greenway. It's important to know Willamette has designs on Winter Street!
|2009 Master Plan for WU - notes added|
|on the Winter Street Green|
Removing car traffic is not in and of itself a bad thing of course, but since Winter Street has such importance as a north-south axis and connection with the Winter-Maple Greenway to the north and Bush Park to the south, preserving public access is important, and it's not clear that the City should fully vacate the right-of-way and give it over to the University. Winter Street here is something we need to pay attention to in order to maintain the appropriate public level of service on a Winter Street alignment. Through-traffic is important here for those traveling on foot and on bike.
As for the paid parking itself, we have seen a segment of Church Street removed by the Hospital's Blind School property, now this section of Winter Street, and if we want to make real inroads on reducing drive-alone trips, we will need to stiffen our resolve to implement right-priced parking more consistently.
|Unnecessary parking garage pads|
the total cost for new Police Station
Finally, there is $40,000 in Mill Creek Industrial Park urban renewal funding proposed to support a study for widening the Kuebler/Cordon bridges over the railroad and Mill Creek. A lot of money is going here for big box, industrial park development, it's not at all clear that the property tax generated will ever balance the cost of brand new infrastructure to service the area.
Bullets for the rest (maybe we'll come back to these later):
- There are two sets of Legislative priorities, one generated internally, the other from the League of Oregon Cities. Carbon Cap & Invest made the internal list, but just missed the League's list. Housing and infrastructure funding ranked highest.
- New rules to ensure Police Station bond funding for public art doesn't go into a general public art fund but is earmarked for the Police Station.
- Reducing fines for certain first-time violations in our Parks from $250 to $50 and setting an increasing schedule for repeat offenses.
- A report on our Priority Based Budgeting process. But it didn't look to be all that interesting or revealing.
- And another installment of the business and economic development report, which is always way too vague and full of cheer rather than critical and detailed.