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Meeting Notice: Hearing on Salem's Adaptive Reuse Zoning Overlay Set for Next Tuesday 2/26

2.20.19

Salem's City Council Committee on Ordinances, Licenses, and Legal Affairs (OLLA) will host a public hearing on the proposed Religious & Municipal Adaptive Reuse Zoning Overlay ordinance next Tuesday, February 26th at 6:00pm at Salem City Hall (93 Washington St) after the full City Council referred the ordinance to Committee for further public input and review last Thursday.

The official Committee hearing notice is available here.

According to The Salem News

The proposal would create a “Municipal and Religious Reuse Overlay District,” which establishes rules for developers to work under when developing certain properties in Salem that are owned by the city or religious institutions.

Developers would also have to meet certain expectations from the city, including setting aside a percentage of units as affordable.    

The impetus came from two properties owned by the Archdiocese: St. James Parish, at 150 Federal St., and Immaculate Conception, at 17 Hawthorne Blvd.

Former school buildings on these properties have been frequently suggested as possible housing sites by city officials, but without a zoning change, multifamily housing would not be allowed in these districts.

The proposal, however, has broader implications across the city. "Eligibility criteria" for properties that would be covered by the overlay includes a list of 27 sites. Salem's historic City Hall — the second-oldest active town or city hall in the country — and the public library are both on that list, as well as well as several schools, churches, and even the Fire Department headquarters on Lafayette Street.

If referred out of Committee on Tuesday night, the full City Council will take up the proposed zoning overlay again at their regularly scheduled City Council Meeting on Thursday, February 28th at 7:00pm at Salem City Hall. 

Read more about NSAR's support for this ordinance and The Salem News' take on the importance of passing this ordinance for housing in Salem.

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