Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Our Salem Releases Underwhelming Draft Plan - Updated

The City announced yesterday they had published a draft version of the Our Salem update to the Comprehensive Plan.

Existing (l) and proposed (r), side-by-side:
Not a lot of change

It is underwhelming, and at a high level appears to use the existing zoning outlines with minimal change and to swap in more mixed-use zoning for the commercial zoning along busy streets like Commercial Street and Lancaster.

Keyed to our west coast wildfire catastrophe partly caused and substantially intensified by climate changes, a forthcoming article in the NY Times Magazine will talk about the millions of American climate refugees, people who are already living here, we will be seeing in the next generation.

On our own climate refugees, forthcoming

I just don't see how this plan is adequate to the future we know is coming. 

There will be more to say after reading the draft plan in full and drilling into more detail on the plan maps. Maybe this first impression will turn out to be wrong, but on the surface, this looks like fiddling on the margins and not a real engagement with the scope of emissions reductions and mitigation, as well as anticipating the new residents moving here, we know will be necessary.

Update, September 24th

Holy moly. Over on FB Jim Scheppke posted charts from last night's Work Session, and this plan is a whole lot of Potemkin Theater, all show and noise! Crucially, it doesn't do enough to change transportation with shorter trips and less driving, and therefore doesn't do nearly enough on greenhouse gas emissions. It's a FAIL.

There's no change here!

Here are the presentation documents:


Anonymous said...

Here's the online version of the New York Times piece -

MikeSlater said...

I look forward to your comments and, esp. any policy suggestions you have that might be implanted through the Comprehensive Plan update.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for the NY Times link. More comments on the plan here.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added comments on the work session.