The Staff Report this month didn't really do that, and instead merely offers Council a menu of possible decisions. Staff ducked, and it's a weak response.
|From the SKATS 2019 RTSP appendices|
(comments in red added)
|"Households with bundled parking use transit less"|
We see the lack of a review on homelessness right now, we have seen it many times on induced demand in transportation, and probably we see it on trees and other topics. It seems to be a pattern. Is it unrealistic to expect City staff to be able to summarize the current best state of research on a given topic and then to formulate a recommendation based on that rather than recycling the same old popular bromides from a decade or two previous? This is a way that City staff fail to give Council the best information for their decision-making and policy choices. Staff sometimes seem too responsive to politics, and it's Council's job to assess politics. Staff's job is to articulate the best analysis regardless of politics and to let Council do the politicking.
Back to the matter at hand, in the current Staff Report there's an understated link,a little buried, to an article at the American Planning Association. Once you click through, there is this:
|Buried in the APA article: 17% of rent goes to parking|
(A different analysis of Portland costs comes to the same conclusion)
What the Staff Report blandly offers instead are "ideas for consideration" and makes no representation about what they actually think best serves the larger goals. It's passive and dithery.
Summary of Options Discussed Above:Staff has bailed on this, and it is strange they are not more engaged in analysis and making a recommendation.
1. Minimum Parking Requirements for Multifamily Housing
a) Current proposal
b) Eliminate minimum parking requirements for multifamily projects in the Central Salem Development Program area
c) Eliminate minimum parking requirements for multifamily projects within ¼ mile of Cherriots’ Core Network
2. Minimum Parking Requirements for Room and Board facilities
a) Reduce or eliminate parking requirements for Room and Board facilities...
4. Bike storage
a) Current proposal
b) Require a minimum of at least 50 percent of bicycle parking spaces to be indoors, in bike lockers, or secured covered areas.
On these issues I think Council should more act more aggressively on unbundling parking and removing parking mandates, but should wait on bike parking. The Staff Report also says
Staff has discussed the idea of revising the UDC to have short-term and long-term bike parking requirements and intends to pursue this as a broader update to the UDC. This work would include proposing minimum number of short- and long-term bike parking requirements for each use and developing design and locational standards for long-term bike parking. Staff anticipates doing this code update within the next year or two.Portland just updated their bike parking code, and it's a little more complicated than just requiring covered bike parking on complexes with 13 or more homes. Hasty action on this risks bad and unusable bike parking. (See BikePortland here and here.)
Stepping back a little, as a general rule for context and in analysis, one thing that would be helpful is to talk about "homes" rather than acreage:
This code amendment implements recommendations in the Salem Housing Needs Analysis (HNA). The HNA found that Salem’s portion of the urban growth boundary has a projected 207-acre deficit of land designated for multifamily housing (2,897 units) based on a 20-year population forecast.As you can see from the chart at top, we have accumulated a real deficit in building, and questions about surplus/deficit of appropriately zoned land are subordinate and supporting details, not the primary question. If we are concerned about homelessness and affordability, we need to center the actual creation and number of homes (and a home is also an apartment in a multi-family building, not just detached dwelling for a single family) in our analyses, not merely the theoretical possibility of them on appropriately zoned acreage.
(Previously see notes here on the housing code project. Sightline also has an interesting series going right now on abundant housing and climate change and it is worth a read.)
|Report on planting|
But you know what's missing? A report on tree loss and tree care. It's hard to square the City's profession of love for trees with the shoddy pruning, construction "protection," and outright cutting-down we see around town. It's as if planting saplings, and not retention, is the only thing that matters. It will be interesting to hear what tree advocates specifically have to say.
|Does the basket-weave actually protect from rain?|
|February 19th, 1920|
There will be more to say perhaps on the Rotary Club's 100th anniversary later this month.
Council will also be appointing someone to the Planning Commission, and Michael Slater's the only one who has mentioned climate change as a problem. He also says "I believe we need to give deference to long-term vision over responding to current market needs" and points to ways we erode our formally adopted plans. His responses are especially thoughtful and avoid slogans and cliches.
Council should appoint him.
There's a map for the camping concepts, and on the surface it does not look like a fully baked proposal. Instead it looks like spitballing another "idea for consideration." Others will have more to say.
In the minutes to January 27th, there was the 8-1 vote to deny the Hospital a parking fee waiver and a 5-4 vote against calling up the apartments at the State Hospital for Council review. (The specific reasons for a callup may deserve more comment and I may come back to it later this weekend.)