Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Mahonia Nursery looks to Develop into Subdivision for Single Housing

A principal behind Mahonia Nursery has filed an application with the City for "238-lots for single family development and open space lots (Headwaters Subdivision)" on the land, 68 acres composed of a few separate lots, now occupied by and adjacent to the nursery. (The Notice of Filing says "Reed Road" but it's actually Reed Lane SE.)

Current nursery site
and proposed subdivision

As with the Meyer Farm parcel, there would be opportunity to preserve more of the tree cover while also using more smallplex and middle housing forms to net as many or more dwellings as single houses would yield.

But that is not the concept for which they are applying. 

As Our Salem is getting baked, we should ask more closely whether the incentives will align properly for lower carbon and lower-car neighborhoods and households. Right now, the large developments in process (like those at the former mushroom plant, at the North State Hospital site, at Fairview, the Meyer Farm, now this - and there are surely others), seem committed to single housing or to suburban-style three-story walkups set on large parking lots. The middle is still missing, and the forms, locations, and site plans still very car-dependent. Things do not seem to be changing very quickly, if at all, and stronger incentives and rules may be necessary.

Whether this project would come in under the Wildwood/Mahonia umbrella is not clear. 

Nor is the future of Mahonia Nursery clear. The phasing appears to skirt the nursery at first, and it may be structured to allow for a future decision. More will surely be reported or commented on this.

All in all the big development projects, even those by entities with interests in sustainability, seem to maintain late 20th century autoist patterns and are not yet very responsive to future needs and interests.

This project will go under administrative review, not any formal Public Hearing, and the comment period closes Thursday the 11th.

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