There's no Staff Report aimed at the public, but there is a very brief technical memo.
Overall, there's not enough discussion and analysis of the proposals. They trade too much on readers and commenters already understanding zoning, construction, and housing issues. They are not, therefore, as persuasive as they might be. Generating real political momentum behind them will require persuading a general audience who will mostly not have any background in development or zoning.
So here are just some quick-hit notes in red on the posters.
|(red text and yellow highlighting added throughout)|
a discussion of Portland's proposal in the context of displacement. They conclude that lawn/yard area should actually be bigger on four-plexes, that is the total building size smaller than a single family dwelling on the same lot, in order to minimize the prospect for excessive demolitions and displacement. I don't know what is the right approach for Salem, and there is reason to think it would be different, but without more analysis, this just looks random preference for "as little change as possible." Again, the City and consultants should publish a direct analysis supporting this proposal.
And then are they proposing to totally do away with Type III review? Like I think it's appropriate the Boise projects have full Type III reviews. Projects where there are significant City subsidy in Urban Renewal funding or other kinds of public funding should go through a more detailed public review.
But there are plenty of other projects where a lesser administrative review is appropriate.
Council could still call things up or appellants could appeal to the Planning Commission or City Council.
Still, I'd like to see more discussion and analysis of this proposed change. The City should flesh this proposal out with a larger set of examples.
In the end, for non-experts, it's hard to think through these proposals and to assess them in an even-handed way. As they are currently pitched to the citizenry, what the City will get are emotional responses that may not connect to actual policy goals.