Ahead of tonight's Salem City Council meeting in which the City will consider an Adaptive Resuse Zoning Ordinance that will provide a permitting pathway for the resue and redevelopment of underutilized municipal and religious properties, The Salem News published an editorial this morning calling for passage of the ordinance:
"The overlay would allow former church properties, such as St. James School, or municipal buildings, such as the former senior center on Broad Street, to be redeveloped for housing, with a special permit from the Planning Board. It is a reasonable change to current uses, and requires written input from both the Historical Commission and the Design Review Board before any housing proposal can be approved. It includes parking requirements and regulation of any new construction proposed for such sites. In all, 27 municipal and church buildings are included as eligible properties, although most of them are not vacant or likely to be redeveloped.
Housing, and particularly affordable housing, is a critical need in both the city and the region, and a zoning plan that allows for now-useless buildings to help meet that need is a plus for the city. We hope city councilors will agree and vote to approve the zoning overlay on Thursday."
Tonight's City Council meeting will take place at 7:00pm at Salem City Hall, 93 Washington Street.
Read the full Salem News Editoral here.
Click here to read NSAR's letter of support for this ordinance.
The Salem City Council will consider the proposed Religious & Municipal Adaptive Reuse Zoning Ordinance on Thursday, February 14th at 7:00 P.M. at Salem City Hall, 93 Washington Street.
This ordinance would establish a zoning overlay district that would allow for the reuse of religious and municipal properties that currently have no permitting pathway for reuse or redevelopment.
NSAR supports this ordinance as it would establish sufficient oversight and flexibility to incentivize the reuse of these currently and potentially underutilized properties in a beneficial manner to the community. It also provides for historic preservation and will allow for potential residential housing development to meet the growing need for housing in Salem.
Salem's Proposed Municipal & Religious Adaptive Reuse Zoning Ordinance
NSAR’s Letter of Support
The Ipswich Planning Board has approved plans to renovate and add to an exisiting building at 66-64 County Road for the development of four residential townhouses facing South Village Green, despite concerns from abutters about the scale of the building compared to the size of the lot.
The current structure formerly housed three residential units and one commercial space. Developers have proposed converting the commerical space into a residential unit and extending the structure to allow for four 2,000-2,900 sq ft residential townhouses.
More information on the oringial proposal is avaialble here and more on what's to come for the proposal is available here.
The City of Salem, in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), will host two housing forums over the next few weeks as the City prepares to introduce an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance as part of the community's effort to allow for more affordable housing in Salem.
The first "Housing Pop-Up" forum will take place during a Salem Community Meals "Meet & Eat" event at the Saltonstall School (211 Lafayette St) on Wednesday, February 13th from 5:30-7:00pm.
The second "Salem Housing Forum" will take place on Tuesday, March 5th from 7:00-8:30pm at the Salem Community Life Center (401 Bridge St). More details are avaialble on the Facebook Event page.
To sign-up for future updates on these housing forums, initiatves and more, visit bit.ly/salemhousing.
A committee has recommended spending $250,000 in community preservation money to help pay for the first phase of an affordable housing development on Sohier Road in Beverly.
The complex, to be called Anchor Point, calls for the initial construction of 38 two- and three-bedroom family apartments in a building at the corner of Sohier and Tozer roads.
The spending must be approved by the City Council, which has set a public hearing on the matter for Feb. 19.
Harborlight Community Partners Executive Director Andrew DeFranza said Anchor Point would provide much-needed housing for working families and formerly homeless families. A second phase would build 37 apartments, for a total of 75.
"It creates economically accessible housing for families in Beverly into the future," DeFranza said. "It's 75 units, which is really very exciting in my mind."
Harborlight Community Partners, an affordable housing agency based in Beverly, bought the 5 acres of vacant land on Sohier Road, up the hill from Beverly High School, for $3 million in January 2018.
The City Council voted to create a special zoning district for the area, which makes the city eligible for state payments based on the number of units and new students that would move into the district.
The housing would be for families earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income, which in 2018 was $64,680 for a family of four. Twenty percent of the units would be set aside for families coming out of homelessness.
The full project would feature two buildings for the 75 apartments, and a third building to serve as a community space, management offices, and a new corporate office for Harborlight.
More on this proposal from The Salem News.
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