ACCESS TO THE BOISE PROPERTY
August 31, 2013
Geoffrey James A.I.A. Architect
4676 Commercial St. S.E., Suite 8, Salem, Oregon 97302 503-931-4120 firstname.lastname@example.org
P a g e
the Eco Earth and the Pedestrian Bridge entrance needs more park space around it. The solutionwould be an increased landscaped buffer, i.e. setting the apartment walls and windows further backbehind a landscaped strip.
WAS THE PROCESS BACKWARDS ?
Normally a developer ensures he has ACCESS first, before proceeding with detailed designs. The"Team" were so anxious to take up council time by talking at length (a series of consultants) about thedetailed design of the apartments. The Mayor was right that the basic question to start with is ACCESS and explain why the access through the park is claimed to be the only way. However, in thiscase, the applicant proceeded with detailed Site Plan Review etc. BEFORE confirming access. Theyshould have confirmed that a NORTH access was permitted before hiring an expensive team of consultants to do as detailed design, possibly ready for building permit processing. A very backwardsway of project management, but possibly a high stakes poker game, i.e. having a developmentdesigned and ready to go, assuming the Chamber could help them get a park access anyway. Theydid not count on the Public being awake, enlightened, and perceptive. They will not get away with thatploy. There
access available, in a way that the Carousel and Riverfront Park is not violated.
THE VIEWS OF THE RIVERFRONT
When the Convention Center was built the Mayor and community leaders remarked that the View of the Riverfront was very important, and the sooner the old triangular Boise Warehouse was removed,the better. Well, it WAS removed. However, now replacement buildings are planned, a 3 story wall of apartments, a nursing home, a high rise office building, and other structures. It's like the Rose TestGardens in SW Portland that used to have a view of Mt. Hood. Then the KOIN Center skyscraper wasbuilt, and exactly blocks Mt Hood from those admiring the roses. Same thing here. When a visitor looks out from the second floor of the Convention Center towards the adjacent Riverfront Park, their view is now to be blocked by a wall of new buildings. Vistas or visual easements are really thesolution, and our city planners or urban designers should be ensuring these views are protected.
in 1974, Peter Courtney was on the City Council, and the author was on the Planning Commission.Folks were talking about the possibilities if Boise Cascade ever moved, plus connecting three parks,a Riverfront Park to Wallace Marine and a Minto-Brown Island. The author created an urban designplan and rendering called "Riverfront 2000" and was invited to the annual Council Goals Session,which was focused on transforming the industrial riverfront into a park. The author had just come fromSpokane, where we did the same thing, but using a World's Fair, i.e. Expo 74, to make it happen. Theold industrial buildings were removed. The railroad was actually relocated "around" downtown. FrontStreet became a boulevard. 16 blocks of downtown were connected by the "Skywalk", i.e. sky bridgesand 2nd. Floor route through blocks and buildings, from retail stores, to bank lobbies, and officebuildings. It has become a tourist attraction. Moving to Salem in 1974 the author saw the samepossibilities here, i.e. a Riverfront Park and a Skywalk system, so joined several City committees.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The attached map shows that access to the "west of the tracks" development should be from theexisting access road from the south.
Council should DENY the proposed access through the Carousel lot, for the reason statedabove, i.e. safety, congestion, and adverse impact on the park users.
There is good access to the property (see the map), and the park should be protected, and enhancedat every opportunity. No violation of our Riverfront Park should be permitted.