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City Councilors Still Upset with Salem Oil & Grease

Salem City Council members revisited the laws governing the construction of large, dense projects.

The City Council voted Thursday to create a special subcommittee next year to consider how to rewrite the laws governing the construction of large, dense projects like the controversial Salem Oil & Grease and Salem Suede residential construction.

Several councilors, who described themselves as "agitated" over the approval of these dense projects, took turns criticizing the interpretation that the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals have given to new rules governing the makeup of Planned Urban Districts.

"We are not trying to intimidate the Planning Board. We want to tell them they are misinterpreting the law," said Ward 2 Councilor Michael Sosnowski. 

"I would just like to have seen them (Planning Board) say no to one project," said Ward 4 Councilor Jerry Ryan, who lives near the Salem Oil & Grease project.

Ward 7 Councilor Joseph O'Keefe complained that the law, as passed by the council, was changed. When it was passed originally, the law set a definition of a story in a building as 10 feet. That definition was eliminated, he said.

Councilor at Large Tom Furey said he would wager that in five years the councilors, who are agitated now, will think that the Salem Oil & Grease project is "an asset to the city and to the neighborhood."

Council President Joan Lovely said sometimes the Planning Board has to approve larger projects for highly contaminated sites like that of Salem Oil & Grease. A 141-unit apartment complex is proposed for the long-contaminated six-acre site on the North River.

JOHN CAHILL December 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM
kim is not a redhead
Rich Felton December 14, 2012 at 01:49 AM
It is called UN AGENDA 21 and ICLEI.Local officials like to call it "smart growth".There are incentives for cities and towns to creat "smart growth" districts. Communities can receive between $10,000 and $600,00 in state funding(your and my taxes), plus an additional $3,000 for every new housing unit created, in exchange for adopting special zoning districts that allow higher density developments. This has been going on since Mayor Driscoll took office.
windpower December 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Hay planning board ,todays high tide will be 12.4 .No storm ,no rain to back up the river ,just tide . SO take a drive to your two afforadble sites in the area ,and take note of where the water is . Oh by the way don't take lower bridge st. ,it will be flooded . And may I add, with the rise in sea level, it will happen 4 times a year . PS take a look at where you want the senior center . bring boots
John Merrett December 14, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Rich, You're spot on!Agenda 21 is sold under many names to hide it's true agenda. Property owners need to pay close attention to this issue, because under Agenda 21, your property rights are gone.
Rich Felton December 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Can you believe they are putting our Seniors down on that site? Just the way Mayor Driscoll came up with that site at the last second is hard to swallow. Our Seniors wanted a building of their own and not a shared one like the Mayor and unfortunately most of our councilors voted in favor of. I was appalled when Mayor Driscoll quoted in the Salem News that the "Seniors are getting everything in a building except a water front view". She just doesn't listen and that's why I call her the "my way Mayor or no way".Just my observation.

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