Sunday, October 25, 2020

City Council, October 26th - German Baptist Church Decision

Council convenes on Monday and no big action items are of interest here, so just some notes in passing, marginalia even.

The most interesting thing here is the Planning Commission's decision, an information item unless it is called up for Council Review or is appealed, on the First German Baptist Church. (And all previous notes here. Update: It is been appealed.)

Exclusionary themes in Grant's appeal

As part of the decision a letter from a lawyer representing DevNW is included, and it even talks explicitly about "housing people over cars" and about neighbors using "land use planning as a tool to exclude." The general rhetoric of YIMBY and acknowledgement of historical exclusionary planning and neighborhood practices is at least a little noteworthy. Maybe we will see more of this.

On proprietary claims to parking

On street trees

The Planning Commission specifically agreed to the request on planting new street trees and this might be something to register - maybe something that needs clarification in code.

Decision on removing street tree condition

Consultant response to wildly exaggerated
worries about traffic

As we saw with Salem Heights and the Wren Heights development (here and here), sometimes neighbors do in fact highlight traffic problems that the City and Developers analyses elide. Here, there is the opposite problem: Neighbors are wildly overestimating traffic impacts, and the consulting engineer is right to criticize the claims and underlying analysis. Because we have focused on the wrong details in our paradigm of hydraulic autoism, it is incoherent and busting up; we need a new paradigm that properly balances speed, safety, comfort, and mobility for all road users and neighbors.

On the Council agenda there's also a history note. Apparently Salem has had two Sleepy Hollows! This is an interesting displacement where we have forgotten one named area and applied the name instead to a new area. Out just east of Swegle and McKay Schools there is small well system supplying 41 homes, and it has a problem with arsenic. The City proposes to bring the homes into the municipal water system and subsidize at least part of the cost to build infrastructure to service it.

this is a false Sleepy Hollow!

The original, June 17th, 1912

The hollow at the end of Mission Street between Gaiety Hill and Fairmount Hill was earlier known as Sleepy Hollow.

The question of the magnitude of the City subsidy might be interesting also, as it is a kind of "suburban ponzi scheme" problem. The development pattern there does not generate property tax revenue sufficient for the second lifecycle of the water system. It is mean to begrudge people safe drinking water in a way we might begrudge the city subsidizing paving over an unimproved gravel street, which is not the same level of essential service as safe water. Still, this is evidence that the current development pattern is not sustainable.

Register-Guard, July 2020

Over at CANDO in a long post and analysis on last month's Work Session, "Council Conducts 'Disjointed' Session on 'Non-Criminal' Policing," they write:

For now, Council would do well to forget about the sobering center and CRU [like CAHOOTS], and concentrate on expanding the hours of the navigation center/low barrier shelter that's in the 2020 Council policy agenda. That's what police are asking for, if Council would only listen.

On Monday's agenda is more information about the CRU proposal as well as a couple of other items following up requests for more information at last month's Work Session

Front page Oregonian today

It may be that we need to give more explicit visibility to the differing agendas and frames in approaches to "non-criminal policing." If the goal is not to shoot people in crisis, to reduce the frequency that police use guns, then a liberal use of a CAHOOTS model may very well help no matter what. But if the goal is less about guns and less about managing the "non-criminal police" encounter itself, and more about helping into housing or more stable life situations, maybe the CAHOOTS model is not so helpful. And, of course, if you don't trust the Police on white supremacy and nascent fascism, would you trust their analysis, and what they request, on homelessness or mental illness?

These are difficult, non-obvious matters with complicated trade-offs.

Bullets for the rest:

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

The Grant Neighborhood Association appealed the German Baptist Church decision.

"The Neighborhood Association and neighbors have brought forth legitimate and serious concerns about vastly increasing the density of use of these properties based on parking, traffic, and the substantial likelihood that this zone change will open the door for future zone changes in the immediate area, altering the character of this close in residential neighborhood until it is lost entirely. These are legitimate concerns that do not reflect the public interest and that the Planning Commission has failed to even acknowledge."