City News

YOUR GOVERNMENT: Council to hear motion on term limits for neighborhood association board chairs

The Salem City Council Meets Monday, March 13, to consider rezoning for denser housing in the South Central neighborhood and to vote on whether to accept over $1 million in state funding for the incoming navigation center.

Councilor Julie Hoy will also present a motion to look into term limits for chairs and vice-chairs on neighborhood association boards.

“I believe that establishing term limits for positions of chair and vice chair (or equivalent) with regard to Neighborhood Association Boards will broaden outreach, enhance opportunities for participation and increase possibilities for growth throughout the city,” Hoy said in the written motion.

If approved by the council on Monday, staff would prepare a code amendment limiting consecutive terms for the council to consider.


The meeting starts at 6 p.m., and will be both in-person at the council chambers and available to watch online.

To comment remotely, sign up on the city website between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday. The meeting will be livestreamed on Capital Community Media’s YouTube channel, with translation to Spanish and American sign language available.

For written comments, email [email protected] before 5 p.m. on Monday, or on paper to the city recorder’s office at the Civic Center, 555 Liberty St. S.E., Room 225. Include a statement indicating the comment is for the public record.

SCAN neighborhood zoning

The council will also vote on whether to begin the process to eliminate five overlay zones in the that would allow for taller buildings, denser housing and mixed-used development in the South Central Association of Neighbors Neighborhood.

The proposed changes would allow multi-use buildings with limits of 65, 55 and 70 feet tall, rather than the overlay zone’s limit of 35 feet, according to the staff report.

The changes would allow for taller developments with more housing, and encourage pedestrian focused design and walkability in a zone near the Cherriots Core Network of primary transit lines.

The five removed overlay zones would be Saginaw Street, Superior-Rural, Oxford-West Nob Hill, Oxford-Hoyt  and Hoyt-McGilchrist.

The overlay zones were originally implemented in the 1980s as the city prepared to widen Southeast Commercial Street.

“The context of this neighborhood has changed over the ensuing three and a half decades, as have the community’s priorities,” the staff report said. 

Staff met with SCAN in January, who opposed the proposal due to concerns about privacy and parking, according to the staff report. Owners of affected properties were notified with fliers that month and invited to provide input, the city said. 

If the council votes to continue, the next step would be to schedule a public hearing.

State funds for the navigation center

The council will also vote on whether to accept over $1.3 million from the state for renovations and behavioral health services at the navigation center at 1185 22nd Street S.E.

The center, scheduled to open April 1, would provide services for up to 75 people who are homeless in the Salem area.

The grant agreement with the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department would allocate around $918,000 retroactively to July 1, 2022 for renovation costs. Of that, $225,000 would be used for behavioral health services and $201,700 for administrative costs, according to the staff report.

Easements for Crestview Waterline Project, NW Improvement project

The council will also vote on a declaration of intent to start negotiations with property owners for easements required to start the Crestview Waterline Project. 

The project aims to build nearly 2,000 feet of waterline between the Candalaria Reservoir and South Crestview Drive. The waterline would replace an aging cast iron pipe under the Willamette View Apartments, according to the staff report. The project would impact two property owners.

The waterline project is estimated to cost over $2.3 million, with construction scheduled for 2024.

The city will also vote on whether to ratify an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad Company, that would extinguish an easement the company holds over a portion of the area planned for improvements.

The city’s incoming NW Improvement project, between Northwest Gerth Avenue and Wallace Road, is intended to improve sidewalks, water, sewer and stormwater facilities in the area.

In easing the property, the city would pay the railroad company $159,600 in easement fees and $43,000 for the removal of an advertising signboard, according to the agreement. Funding for the agreement and the project would come from West Salem Urban Renewal Area funds, according to the staff report.

Support for state bills

The city will vote to support or oppose bills in the 2023 Oregon Legislative Session, a requirement before any official can attempt to influence legislation. 

Positions, as recommended by the council’s legislative committee, are to support house bills asking for funding for housing, homeless services and state technical assistance for emergency preparedness.

Avis Budget Car Rental lease at the airport

The council will vote on a lease amendment with Avis Budget Car Rental, a tenant at the Salem Municipal Airport. 

The amendment would increase monthly rent from $586.50 per month to $879.75 per month starting May 1 as the rental agency expands its premises to an adjacent counter space in the terminal, priced at $1.50 per square foot, plus 5% of gross revenues.

The amendments would increase their monthly rent to $1,026.38 per month in August at $1.75 per square foot, and again to $1,173 in 2025 at $2 per square foot, according to the staff report.

Public hearing on Civic Center

The council will host a public hearing on designating the Salem Civic Center as a Salem Local Historic Resource, which would add preservation and maintenance ordinances to the example of 1970s Brutalist architecture. 

Parking mandates

The council will have its first reading of a code amendment that would eliminate parking mandates that dictate the number of parking spaces required to accompany certain new buildings.

If approved, the move would mean new developments, citywide, would no longer be required to create off-street parking spaces. The state is asking the city to reform its parking standards by June 30, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage walking and public transportation.

Following the first reading, the city would conduct a public hearing on the matter, then move it to a second reading before voting on whether to approve the amendment. 

The council will also have its first reading of an ordinance that would align city parking code with state law, regarding unclaimed vehicles. It includes allowing the city to expedite the disposal of abandoned vehicles worth less than $500, and other changes the staff report said will promote efficiency.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.