The South Waterfront Urban Renewal District would support development of the Boise Cascade site and downtown waterfront area.
The acreage on Minto-Brown Island is in the Willamette Greenway, a state mandate stipulating standards for land use along the Willamette River, ensuring open space, public access, native vegetation and scenic views when planning new development.
It is also in a floodway, which is the area of a floodplain with the greatest depth and velocity of water flow. No development can take place in such an area because floodwater must be allowed to pass unobstructed.
Executive Director Sue Johnston is excited about the inclusion of the Audubon acreage in the new urban renewal zone.
“It gives us a more legitimate voice in what happens with the land. It has a market value of about $20,000 so there is little tax benefit to include it. But it has a lot of value as natural habitat.”
As part of the proposal to include the land owned by the Audubon Society, the City intends to provide a site for an Interpretive Nature Center that would be located on a small piece of undeveloped land between Riverfront Park and Mill Creek.
For more information about the Salem Audubon Society, call (503) 588-7340 or visit Salem Audubon.