Monday, March 19, 2007

Planning: Proposed Salem Gardens Development Cancellation Based on Owners' Unwillingness to Pay for Stormwater Hook-up

The Planning Department responded quickly to my query about Salem Gardens' proposed re-zoning this morning. They tell me that the re-zoning is a switch back to the original zoning and a cancellation of the Salem Gardens Urban Design Overlay. You can read the Planning Department's memo after the jump (p. 55, items 12 & 13).

The owners did not choose to pay for 450' underground hook-up to the storm sewer for their surface run-off and they were not allowed to hook-up to the sanitary sewer because that might result in sewerage overflowing into a waterway, something over which Metro has lately been in federal trouble.

But this news casts a puzzling light on co-owner Steve Yokley's comments to my original post on the run-off issues just down the street at Schoene Ansicht. Back on January 25, in an attempt to address mixed messages on Schoene Ansicht's stormwater run-off (surface vs. sewer) Mr. Yokley wrote:
I would like to make a comment on the mixed messages sent. That was not my intention; it was actually a misunderstanding on my part. The Salem Garden project at the corner of 6th and Garfield, was slated to discharge underground. I assumed that this project [Schoene Ansicht] would be done the same way.
Late last year, another Schoene Ansicht owner, Taurus McCain had met with Salemtown Neighbors and said that the Water Department was opposing plans to have water run-off at the surface of Salem Gardens. He also mentioned that the Salem Gardens partnership would try and enlist the association's support allow their partnership to discharge water on the surface rather than underground.

My questions: was the Salem Garden project ever truly "slated" to be discharged underground if running it to the sanitary sewers was out of the question and if running a 450' line to the storm sewers was cost-prohibitive? If it was "slated," then why did Mr. McCain speak with us last year about possibly supporting a request for an exemption to allow surface water run-off?

I'm confused about all of these details, and I don't know whether I would support this request to go back to the original R6 overlay.

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