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Meeting Notice: Full City Council to Vote Tonight on Salem's Adaptive Reuse Overlay District


After nearly five hours of debate on Tuesday night, the Salem City Council's Committee on Ordinances, Licenses and Legal Affairs (OLLA) referred the Religious & Municipal Adapative Reuse Zoning Ordinance positively out of Committee to the full City Council which will take up the Ordinance for a vote tonight at 7:00pm at Salem City Hall (93 Washington Street).

This ordinance would provide a permitting pathway for the reuse and redevelopment of underutilized municipal and religious properties in Salem for potential housing opportunities. NSAR supports this proposed Zoning Overlay District which has also drawn support from The Salem News Editorial Board

Zoning changes require support from a supermajority of the Council (8 votes) over the course of two City Council meetings.

Click here for The Salem News coverage of Tuesday's Committee meeting.

Click here for the proposed and incorporated changes to the ordinance

The OLLA Committee stripped a long list of Planning Board changes from the package Tuesday night and debated the percentages of affordability that should be required for developers, eventually landing at 10% affordability at 80% of the Area Medium Income. Additionally, one significant changed included the Council's removal of "new construction" off of the Overlay District's "dimensional table" meaning any new construction or additions to the property would require variances from the city’s Zoning Board. 

The North Shore Community Development Coalition, based in Salem, is presently in talks with the Archidocese of Boston to potentially redevelop two sites included in the ordinance into 100% affordable housing: the Immaculate Conception on Hawthorne Boulevard and St. James Church on Federal Street.

Next Tuesday, March 5th, Mayor Kim Driscoll will also introduce an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance at a Community Housing Forum set for 7-8:30pm at the Community Life Center (401 Bridge St). This forum will feature a community discussion on housing needs, initiatives and affordability in Salem.

NSAR encourages Salem REALTORS® to attend tonight's Salem City Council meeting in support of this Zoning Overlay District. Please contact Government Affairs Manager Kristian Hoysradt at 978-232-9410 for additional information on tonight's meeting or the proposed ordinance.


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