During Monday night’s Salem City Council meeting, members approved the adoption of Urban Development Areas, amending “The Comprehensive Plan for the City of Salem,” to reflect the addition.

It will be funded by a $65,000 grant from the state, and requires no monetary match by the City of Salem.

Benjamin Tripp of the Salem Planning Commission applied for the grant, and presented three development prototypes for consideration, along with Deana Rhodeside of Rhodeside & Harwell. Rhodeside worked with Tripp to design the prototypes. Designating an Urban Development Area is an important step in competing for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s new priority funding method, Tripp said.

Urban Development Areas are created in hopes of minimizing infrastructure expenditures, preserving underdeveloped farm, forest and natural features, presenting development patterns to respond to demographic shifts, and providing pedestrian-friendly transportation options.

“It is to minimize new road infrastructure, and to maximize the infrastructure that is already in place,” Rhodeside said.
The three prototypes, or locations for potential updates, include:
• City Core- downtown area
• Village Core- area from 419 from Apperson to Colorado Avenue
• Mixed-Use Corridor- East Main Street

The UDA adoption is the beginning of a much larger goal for Salem infrastructure. UDA requirements state that areas must be sufficient to accommodate 10-20 years of projected growth. Improving bike lanes and sidewalk facilities, adding trees, widening roads are just a handful of potential updates.

Also during Monday night’s meeting, Salem School Board members Dr. Nancy Bradley and Dr. Michael Chiglinsky, whose terms are soon to expire, addressed council.

“It’s obvious that we put children first in the City of Salem,” said Salem City Councilwoman Lisa Garst. “I just have a tremendous amount of respect for what you do.”

A vote regarding the appointment of candidates will be taken during the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

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