Monday, March 19, 2007

The Duplex Kings of Salemtown: Planning Tells More on What Might Happen If Salem Gardens Property is Rezoned on Thursday

I'm getting the message that the Salem Gardens partnership is angling for returning their 5 properties at the corner of Garfield and 6th to R6 zoning in order to build duplexes on each. Planning officials have also seen one of their plans, which would convert 2 of the 5 properties into 3 and put a duplex on each (6 duplexes total). In order to subdivide 2 into 3, the partnership would have to submit another request and face future Planning Commission and Metro Council Public Hearings.

Two of these partners, Taurus McCain and Steve Yokley are duplex kings; they either own, have built, or plan to build duplexes almost exclusively. According to one of my neighbors, Taurus McCain has expressed total disinterest in building even one single family home in Salemtown. If you walk up 6th Avenue, you'll find a street already super-saturated with duplexes, and so the Salem Gardens partnership obviously sees no reason to diversify that location.

It appears to me that the only way to apply brakes to the continued hyper-duplexification of 6th Avenue North is to oppose the current proposal before the Planning Commission on Thursday, March 22 (at 4:00 p.m. at the Howard Office Building on 2nd Avenue) to return the 5 properties to R6 zoning. The Salem Gardens Partnership has not shown their new plans at a Salemtown Neighbors meeting, so we have to assume that they could put anything, including something sub-par on the properties; that could threaten our real estate values and the overall quality of life here. I am considering attending the meeting on Thursday. I hope other neighbors feel motivated to exert some influence on these developments before we lose the opportunity to do so.


  1. "apply breaks (?) to hyper-duplexification"

    First, what does this mean? I assume you mean you want to stop building duplexes.

    Second, isn't a higher population density needed to counter urban sprawl?

  2. First, thanks for pointing out the misspelling. I corrected it.

    Second, I don't aim to stop the construction of duplexes, only their control.

    Third, urban sprawl seems to be an oxymoron. High population density occurs everywhere with a mix of single family homes, duplexes and mixed-use. In fact, if a community is going to have generational diversity, that kind of balance is necessary. Duplex builders are only in the neighborhood for the money that they can take out of the neighborhood, so they saturate the market with duplexes (thus, "hyper-duplexification," which also discourages single-family and multi-use builds); so, they should have to submit their plans to other residents who have a much greater stake in the long-term growth of Salemtown.