Fifty years after local preservationists and renowned architecture critic and Pulitzer Prize winner Ada Louis Huxtable saved Salem from the wrecking ball, we are faced with a new threat. Over-development is changing our beautiful, historic coastal city into a congested, faceless place.
Architecture is one of Salem’s greatest assets, unique in the world and pivotal to our economic success. And yet, Mayor Driscoll was the first mayor since urban renewal to support the demolition of antique houses making way for new construction. Historic architecture continues to be degraded and neighborhoods are being swallowed up by huge, uninspired “Stumpies” in a mid-rise apartment boom. High rents in these buildings are putting pressure on affordable rentals and threaten our collective ability to build equity and attain home ownership.
Several development projects are planned on our floodplains. Neighbors vehemently oppose these projects. Municipal boards are not listening to residents and are twisting rules to favor developers in order to bring these projects forward. Neighborhoods are fighting back with lawsuits all over the city. Finally, we are combining forces to protect the city America loves.
Who are we?
We are a coalition of diverse neighbors from all across Salem working together to stop over-development in Salem. We support a productive plan of development that enhances our quality of life as well as preserves one of our greatest assets, the historic fabric of Salem.
What is over-development?It is building housing that doesn’t address our local needs.
It is building housing faster than our infrastructure can support.
It is building without regard to affordability.
It is building without regard to the environment.
It is building without regard to existing architecture.
It is building without regard to quality of life.
It is building without assurance that our local economy can support it.
We desire policies that will create, sustain & preserve the diversity of housing that Salem has always offered by: Passing an Inclusionary Zoning ordinance without additional incentives for density. Controlling the number of affordable rentals being converted to condos.
Limiting the number of short term rental units.
Adopting programs for first-time homebuyers. Increasing incentives for owner-occupied multi-families.
We support commercial development that is compatible with our neighborhoods to create jobs, serve our community needs, and diversify our tax base.
We plead with the city to focus on coastal resiliency.
We oppose building on flood plains because of storm surges and rising high tides.
We argue that the burden of a regional housing shortage cannot fall on Salem. By asking us to do more than our fair share, you are asking us to increase the inequity we already have between rich and poor communities.
We reject the Trojan Horse of Gateway City status. We want no more influence by MassINC and MassDevelopment. By taking the money, we become obligated to regional interests above the best interests of Salem.
We renounce any legislation which would lower the local voting threshold needed for zoning changes to a simple majority. Supermajority is vital for protecting the minority on important legislation. Otherwise, it becomes a tyranny of the majority.
Join us. Tell your neighbors.
We need everyone to stop over-development in Salem.