Among the zoning changes that are being taken up by the city is what is called the Adaptive Reuse Overlay District, which will have a joint public hearing by the City Council and the Planning Board on Thursday, December 13th, at 6:30 PM in City Council chambers at 93 Washington St.. This will be an important hearing.

This proposed zoning is being offered to preserve and reuse municipal and religious properties principally for conversion to housing (along with a number of other commercial uses, see ordinance text, attached). There are 28 properties covered – listed below. In Ward 2, there are 16 sites.   Also you may have concerns about some of the other listed sites.

In addition to preserving these buildings through housing re-use, in many cases these sites would also be eligible for new construction which would far exceed the density allowed under the existing zoning of the surrounding neighborhoods, in most cases R1, R2, or R3. Moreover, the new construction would be higher and larger buildings with much larger numbers of units than the residential properties around them. (Section 8.7.4 includes both a table and language about what would be allowed.)

The hearing on the 13th is the first (and may be the only opportunity) for residents to weigh in on this zoning proposal. Often what has occurred at these hearings in the past is that public testimony is taken that evening and then the Council immediately closes the hearing, the issue goes to the Planning Board for its recommendation to the Council (without any further public input allowed when the Board meets), and then the Council votes on the Board’s recommendation about the zoning proposal. This despite new information or concerns having been raised during the Planning Board’s considerations or subsequent to the City Council’s initial hearing session.

I highly recommend that, if you have any concerns about this zoning change or you want to understand better what is being proposed, you attend the hearing on the 13th. Offer your opinions or concerns or ask questions and also ask that the hearing not be closed, rather that it be left open for further public comment after the Planning Board convenes on the proposal and makes its recommendation. (You do not have to sign up in advance to speak at the hearing on the 13th.)

If, as may be possible, you have holiday season commitments on the 13th, then send your input or questions to your City Councillors by email or call them on the phone (their contact information is listed on the city website under City Council). This may not seem to be a pressing matter as you may believe that the reuse of some of these buildings would be unlikely, however, this zoning will have already taken effect when the use of the property changes in the future because it would be locked in now.

Finally, there is no requirement for the city to notify abutters to these properties about this proposed zoning change, so adjacent property owners may not know about this proposal. Please send this information on to others who live near these properties so that they will have the opportunity to be informed about this significant proposed zoning change.

53-55 LIBERTY HILL AVE
BATES SCHOOL

21 MEMORIAL DRIVE
BENTLEY SCHOOL

8 NORTH STREET
WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

12-20 SKERRY STREET
CARLTON SCHOOL

122 BRIDGE ST

ST JOHNS UKRAINIAN CHURCH

93 WASHINGTON STREET
CITY HALL

5 BROAD STREET
FORMER COUNCIL ON AGING

26 30 ST PETER
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH

48 LAFAYETTE STREET
FIRE HEADQUARTERS

292-296 LAFAYETTE STREET
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF SALEM

316 ESSEX STREET
FIRST CHURCH IN SALEM

381-385 ESSEX STREET
GRACE CHURCH

64 66 FORRESTER STREET
ST NICHOLAS RUSSIAN ORTHODOX

50 120 WINTER ISLAND ROAD
CITY OF SALEM

13-17 HAWTHORNE BLVD
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH & SCHOOL

372 ESSEX STREET
LIBRARY

211 LAFAYETTE STREET
SALTONSTALL SCHOOL

DERBY SQUARE
OLD TOWN HALL

9 CLEVELAND STREET
ST ANNE’S SCHOOL AND CONVENT

22 24 ST PETER STREET
ST PETERS CHURCH

288 290 JEFFERSON AVENUE
ST. ANNE’S PARISH

150 FEDERAL STREET
ST. JAMES CHURCH AND SCHOOL

224 228 NORTH STREET
ST. THOMAS CHURCH

50 WASHINGTON STREET
TABERNACLE CHURCH

1 FREDERICK STREET
WITCHCRAFT HEIGHT SCHOOL

127 NORTH STREET
KINGDOM LIFE MINISTRIES

211 BRIDGE STREET
THE BRIDGE AT 211

65 CANAL STREET
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH

 

 

Salem Adaptive Reuse Overlay District Zoning Ordinance 11 28 18 pdf