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GA Blog: Salem

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11.11.19 Mayor Driscoll Adresses Accessory Dwelling Units and Rent Control

Mayor Kim Driscoll appeared on Keller @ Large this weekend addressing directly two seperate housing issues: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Rent Control.

The REALTOR® position has been in favor of ADUs by right as a commonsense way to create housing in developed neighborhoods.

You can watch video of the interview above.

 

 

 

 

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10.25.19 Salem Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance Fails 6-5

 

After months of public forums and review by committees, the Salem ADU ordinance has failed final passage by a vote of 6 in favor and 5 against.  The ordinance sought to expand Salem’s current zoning bylaws to allow for an easier pathway to construction of ADUs and allowing more than just relatives to be occupants.

This comes as another example of a majority vote failing the super majority requirement for passage.  Governor Baker has tried to eliminate the super majority requirement for certain zoning changes with his Housing Choice Bill but that bill has not been able to progress through committee.

Salem News has reaction and explanation from many of the city councilors here.

 

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10.11.19 Salem's Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance Receives First Passage

Last night, Salem’s Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance passed the City Council with an 8 to 3 vote. 

First passage is an important step as the ordinance proceeds forward but does not mark the end of the road.  The ordinance is being sent back to the Ordinance, Licenses, and Legal Affairs (OLLA) sub-committee for a meeting on October 23rd.   If referred back to the City Council from OLLA it would most likely be heard on the City Council’s regular meeting on October 24th.

The ADU ordinance requires a two-thirds supermajority to receive passage, so 8 favorable votes is actually the minimum number of votes needed.  In The Salem News, City Council President Steve Dibble is quoted as saying “I simply voted in favor of this to continue the discussion so the ordinance can be strengthened and the residents can be protected.”  The ordinance has until November 13th to receive second passage

NSAR will continue to keep track of how the ordinance progresses.  Accessory Dwelling Units are a commonsense approach to create housing within existing neighborhoods while also providing low priced housing alternatives that have little or no negative impact on the character of a community.

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10.9.19 Salem ADU Ordinance Gets Positive Recommendation

The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinance in Salem continues to make forward progress as the Planning Board gives its positive recommendation. 

The City Council referred the matter to the Ordinance, License, and Legal Affairs (OLLA) sub-committee on September 12th.  OLLA will have its next meeting tomorrow, Thursday October 10th at 6:30pm, where the ordinance could be voted out of committee for final consideration by the City Council.  The City Council must vote on second passage by November 13th to meet the 90-day statutory requirement for action. 

The OLLA meeting is open to public attendance for a show of support.  ADUs provide units that can be integrated into existing single family neighborhoods to provide low priced housing alternatives that have little or no negative impact on the character of the neighborhood.

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9.13.19 Salem's Municipal and Religious Building Re-Use Zoning Ordinance Passes

With a vote from the City Council of 9-2 the Municipal and Religious Building Re-Use Zoning Ordinance recieved final passage at the City Council meeting on September 12th.

This ends the long journey for the ordiance that started in 2018 with the identification of municipal and religious buildings that were no longer serving thier prior use.  Without the overlay the identified buildings in current city zoning could only be redeveloped into single family or two-family housing.  

The approved ordiance increases the number of approvable units through special permit and also contains an affordable housing requirement.  These developements as they now move forward will bring much needed housing the to the city.

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9.11.19 Salem Five-Year Consolidation Plan and FY21 Action Plan

Through late September and early October, Salem will be holding a number of public hearings to receive comment while developing its Five-Year Consolidated Plan and FY21 Action Plan (July 2020 through June 2021).  The Five-Year Consolidated Plan will detail the housing, community, and economic development needs of Salem as well as determining strategies in order to satisfy those needs.

The centerpiece of the meetings will be a General Public Hearing on September 25th.  A full list of the Community Meeting Schedule can be found here. There is also an opportunity for written comment and an online poll (beginning on September 18th) which will be found here.

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