I'm not sure how far to dive into this right now, but Michael Andersen of Sightline
, whom you might have seen quoted in the recent Salem Reporter
piece on the German Baptist Church project in Grant Neighborhood, earlier this week shared notes he made on comment offered by the League of Oregon Cities
, and cosigned by the City of Salem, on the rule-making for HB 2001 on housing choice and missing middle housing
|"revisit...current approach" or maintain exclusionary policies?|
Scholia from Sightline's Andersen on LOC letter
that Salem signed onto
The State is trying to make it easier to site and build more abundant middle housing, and the City has endorsed efforts to make that more difficult. The City is participating in the League's attempt to drape and retard the effort with a kind of "city's rights" argument, saying that the State should not preempt local regulation.
If the City had shown they could actually make progress on this, the argument for subsidiarity might be proper. But the underlying desire is for more exlusionary zoning and exclusionary neighborhoods. It's "don't tell me what to do, because I don't want to do it."
At the City of Salem, opposition to preemption in general have been in Legislative policy statements for a while, so it's not like this is something totally novel or unexpected. But it is something that deserves more discussion. If we are serious about climate, if we are serious about anti-racism, if we are serious about more housing and better housing affordability, why are we offering static and resistance to the State's rulemaking effort for more and easier middle housing?
Why do we not lead with values
instead of leading with self-interested bureaucratic process as if bureaucracy itself was the end? The end is fairer housing, and since local self-determination and home rule has failed to bring this about, we have the State intervening. The City should welcome the State's clarity.