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File #: 20-268    Version: 1
Type: Resolution Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 6/29/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 7/13/2020 Final action: 7/13/2020
Title: Initiate the adoption process for Historic Preservation Plan Update and Historic Code Amendments Ward(s): All Wards Councilor(s): All Councilors Neighborhood(s): All Neighborhoods Result Area(s): Welcoming and Livable Community.
Attachments: 1. Resolution 2020-33 Historic Preservation Plan Update, 2. Historic Preservation Plan 2020-2030, 3. Historic Code Amendment Detailed Summary
Related files:

TO:                      Mayor and City Council   

THROUGH:                      Steve Powers, City Manager   

FROM:                      Norman Wright, Community Development Director  





 Initiate the adoption process for Historic Preservation Plan Update and Historic Code Amendments   


Ward(s):  All Wards    

Councilor(s): All Councilors    

Neighborhood(s):  All Neighborhoods    

Result Area(s): Welcoming and Livable Community.  





 Shall City Council adopt Resolution No. 2020-33 to initiate the adoption process for the Historic Preservation Plan Update and Historic Code Amendments? 






  Adopt Resolution No. 2020-33 to initiate the adoption process for the Historic Preservation Plan Update and Historic Code Amendments.  





  Adopting Resolution No. 2020-33 will initiate a code amendment process to:

a.                     Update the existing Historic Preservation Plan, a component of Salem’s Comprehensive Plan;

b.                     Amend SRC Chapter 230 (Historic Preservation), SRC 300 (Procedures for Land Use Applications and Legislative Land Use Proposals);

c.                     Create SRC Chapter 231 (Historic Adaptive Reuse)

d.                     Refer the matter to the Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) for public hearing and recommendation to Council.


The proposed changes aim to update the Salem Historic Preservation Plan and adopt associated code amendments in order to improve and streamline the historic design review standards and processes and to move the historic adaptive reuse provisions into their own chapter. 





 Procedural Findings


1)                     The City Council adopted the 2010-2020 Salem Historic Preservation Plan (Plan) as a support document to the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan in 2010.


2)                     In March 2019, the City received a Certified Local Government (CLG) Grant to complete an update of the Plan.


3)                     In May 2019, the City hired preservation consultant Painter Preservation to complete the update of the Plan. Work on the project began in July 2019.


4)                     The City formed a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) to advise staff throughout the duration of the project. Additionally, input was provided by the public through online surveys and public open houses.


5)                     The updated 2020-2030 Historic Preservation Plan recommends six goals with 57 actions related to improving public outreach and community education; streamlining historic code; increasing financial support; protecting the cultural landscapes and archaeological resources; encouraging sustainability; and surveying historic resources.


6)                     Implementation of the recommendations in the Historic Preservation Plan require that the zoning code be amended, in order to improve and streamline historic design review standards and processes and to move the historic adaptive reuse provisions into their own chapter.


7)                     A Major Comprehensive Plan Amendment must be initiated by the City Council under SRC 64.025(b)(1) and amendments to the Unified Development Code (UDC) may be initiated by City Council by resolution under SRC 300.1110(a).


8)                     The City Council may refer the matter to the Historic Landmarks Commission for public hearing and recommendation pursuant to SRC 300.1110(a)(1).


9)                     Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and UDC require notice to the Director of the Department of Land Conservation and Development no later than 35 days before the first public hearing pursuant to SRC 300.1110(d). All required notices will be provided prior to any public hearings on the proposed amendments.



Planning Process


Beginning in June of 2019, the City, assisted by a consultant team, worked with the community to assess Salem’s Historic Preservation program and identify and evaluate program successes and needs. Throughout the remainder of 2019 and through February of 2020, extensive public outreach was conducted, including two online surveys, an interactive map survey, two public open houses and three meetings of a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), which included public participation. The SAC included City Councilors with historic districts in their wards (Councilors Kaser and Anderson), Historic Landmarks Commission members (Commissioners Cottingham, Maglinte-Timbrook and Mulvihill), historic property owners, representatives from Neighborhood Associations, heritage organizations, development and business communities, and other stakeholders.


Additional public outreach and engagement methods included a project website: <>; interviews with historic property owners and other stakeholders; presentations at meetings of Northeast Neighbors (NEN) and South East Salem Neighborhood Association (SESNA), the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and other community organizations; two online surveys with postcards were mailed to all historic property owners; project updates were announced through the City’s HLC newsletter and Facebook, E-Blast newsletter; conducted interviews on the KMUZ; and additional outreach videos about the Plan and goals shared with stakeholders. In June 2020, the HLC held a public work session on the Plan update.  


Historic Preservation Plan

The purpose of the Historic Preservation Plan is to further the City’s commitment to historic preservation by providing a methodology to implement programs and projects to preserve and highlight Salem’s important places. The 2020-2030 Historic Preservation Plan is an update of the 2010-2020 Plan which provides recommendations for:

                     Acknowledging and celebrating outstanding historic preservation projects and the preservation of landscapes and archaeological resources

                     Expanding interpretation programs, talks and tours about Salem’s historic resources

                     Improving communication with the public about available resources on historic preservation, the design review process and historic preservation code

                     Providing technical assistance and educating property owners and the HLC members about the best practices for rehabilitation of historic properties

                     Streamlining and reducing the review time for processing Historic Preservation applications

                     Improving the consistency of the enforcement process for those violating the historic design review process

                     Improving the design review process for adaptive reuse

                     Continuing the residential grant program and seeking additional funding for the program


In addition to the proposed code amendments below, the Plan will provide a framework for staff and the HLC for their work for the next decade. HLC will report on their progress on the individuals actions each year in their annual report to City Council.


Proposed Code Amendments


The proposed amendments to the Salem Revised Code are intended to implement the recommendations of the Plan. The proposed amendments are described below.


1.                     Clarification Amendments


Amendments are proposed to clarify some definitions, standards and review processes, as well as to add language that was inadvertently left out in the last round of amendments. Specific clarifications include:


                     Establish definitions for certain terms utilized in SRC Chapter 230;

                     Clarify language for new construction in Commercial Historic Districts;

                     Providing clarifying examples for energy efficiency and storm windows in Residential Historic Districts;

                     Insert missing language relating to the alteration of site features on residential noncontributing buildings;

                     Clarify language related to demolition by neglect;

                     Improve standards for Signs in Commercial Districts and alterations to Streetscape.


2.                     Streamlining Amendments establishing new process and criterion


The proposed amendments create an administrative process with clear and objective standards for in-kind replacements, restoration and non-visible minor alterations (Class 1 Minor Historic Design Review).


The proposed amendments establish standards for signs in historic residential districts as well as standards and processes for demolition of historic accessory structures. The existing Historic Adaptive Reuse section is proposed as a new chapter (SRC 231) to align with the structure of the Unified Development Code.


Proposed amendments required as a result of newly adopted Oregon Administrative Rules that implement Goal 5 establish a new process for relocation and demolition of historic structures.   




  The City of Salem is updating Salem’s 2010-2020 Historic Preservation Plan. The existing Plan is comprised of five goals related to code improvements, public education, economic and recognition incentives, survey and heritage tourism. Salem’s Historic Landmarks Commission has successfully accomplished a majority of the tasks identified in the current Historic Preservation Plan. 

                      Kimberli Fitzgerald, AICP     

                      Historic Preservation Program Manager 



1. Resolution No. 2020-33

2. Draft Historic Preservation Plan Update: 2020-2030

3. Historic Code Amendment Detailed Summary