City Councilors Still Upset with Salem Oil & Grease

Salem City Council members revisited the laws governing the construction of large, dense projects.

The City Council voted Thursday to create a special subcommittee next year to consider how to rewrite the laws governing the construction of large, dense projects like the controversial Salem Oil & Grease and Salem Suede residential construction.

Several councilors, who described themselves as "agitated" over the approval of these dense projects, took turns criticizing the interpretation that the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals have given to new rules governing the makeup of Planned Urban Districts.

"We are not trying to intimidate the Planning Board. We want to tell them they are misinterpreting the law," said Ward 2 Councilor Michael Sosnowski. 

"I would just like to have seen them (Planning Board) say no to one project," said Ward 4 Councilor Jerry Ryan, who lives near the Salem Oil & Grease project.

Ward 7 Councilor Joseph O'Keefe complained that the law, as passed by the council, was changed. When it was passed originally, the law set a definition of a story in a building as 10 feet. That definition was eliminated, he said.

Councilor at Large Tom Furey said he would wager that in five years the councilors, who are agitated now, will think that the Salem Oil & Grease project is "an asset to the city and to the neighborhood."

Council President Joan Lovely said sometimes the Planning Board has to approve larger projects for highly contaminated sites like that of Salem Oil & Grease. A 141-unit apartment complex is proposed for the long-contaminated six-acre site on the North River.

doc holliday December 09, 2012 at 02:16 PM
gene December 09, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Higher local taxes - Obama's fault CPA passed by the voters - Obama's fault The roof on City Hall needs replacing - Obama's fault ridership on the ferry is down - Obama's fault Traffic congestion in Salem during October - Obama's fault It snows in the winter - Obama's fault I didn't hit the lottery - Obama's fault IT'S ALL OBAMA's FAULT (see I can use capitals too)
Cwheels December 09, 2012 at 03:33 PM
How many of those 141 units do you think will have school age kids in them? Joan, Tom could you please tell us to which schools they will go and at what cost to educate.
Shazzan Nights December 09, 2012 at 03:40 PM
There's an herb that helps agitation.
Mike Lash December 09, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I like that this polluted piece of land will be made habitable at the developers expences and increase the city tax base.
gene December 09, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Isn't also part of this complex going to be commercial, which will mean even more taxes? Councillor Mike "I'm the smartest person in the room" Sosnowski should not be complaining that the Planning Board is misinterpreting the ordinance. He voted for it so he had the chance to fix it. Don't pass the buck now Mr. Wizard!
Cwheels December 09, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Gene have you seen the sliver of land that has been allotted for commercial use? I believe its the thin long strip on the other side of the canal across from the cemetery. Looks like a great spot for green space/park, not even enough room for a dunks. I see this space going unused,over grown and littered with trash for the next 20 years
WC tax payer December 09, 2012 at 08:07 PM
WC tax payer December 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Great just what we need more affordable housing. How many people do they think we can squeeze in the city. I understand we need to fix up and rebuild unused spaces, but with another apt building. It's just wrong. We need to build stuff that will be appealing to people to come to salem and give them a place to spend there money or by property and pay taxes. Maybe the council should think about just no more multi family complexes. I would love to see the numbers on how much the city spends on city servants ie. police,fire,dpw responding to these areas or buildings. And how much do these residents spend in the local small businesses. The only stores making money are Walmart and market basket. The sign you will soon see " Welcome to Slynn"
gene December 09, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Judging by the comments I think the whole thing is Obama's fault anyway!
Bill December 09, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Oh Gene, you scamp. Do you even realize the unintended irony of your post. Pres BHO and his team of henchmen still blame Bush for everything as does the lapdop media.
john December 09, 2012 at 11:12 PM
The planning board is a joke. They serve the mayor and do what they are told,like every other board in Salem.She pushes everything and challenges the council. My way or the highway. I say show HER the highway.
KlassySalem December 09, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Agreed with both of you. Really, what's the alternative? A blighted, polluted eyesore.
KlassySalem December 09, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Talk to the councilors. They approve all of her appointments.
gene December 09, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I guess, Bill, you are right. They need to face reality - just like the right needs to face the reality that this country turned its back on their racist, hate-filled, uncompromising platform. Take that Tea Baggers!
Letty C December 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Great. More "affordable" housing. I am a renter in this city with on-street parking, only 2 Resident Only spaces (& even those have changed to limited hours!) for what had originally been 3 cars. The single family house next door was developed into 3 condos (6 cars without off-street parking). The other side of the street along with the formerly free spaces in Riley Plaza are now $25. a month permit parking. My POINT? Where will the tennants of the "affordable" housing park their Beemers & other pimped-up rides? Pardon my ignorance, but how soon will we be able to get the city back from Mayor Dreadful?
JOHN CAHILL December 10, 2012 at 01:20 AM
mayor kim is a good mayor
imdevil December 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Mayor is a joke........her staff can dish it...now lets see if they can take the civil rights lawsuit ...fire the red head
Ward Blue December 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Somebody needs to build Mike Sosnowski a time machine so he can go back in time and fix all the errors his past shelf should have caught in the first place.
KlassySalem December 10, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Uh, in their off-street parking lot.
john December 10, 2012 at 04:29 PM
That means nothing. It's not as if the tell the council they will only do what the mayor wants. If the mayor wants the appointed they say what ever they have too.
Deb December 10, 2012 at 05:37 PM
As usual, the talking heads that tout any and all development, no matter the density or down side, have emphasized the revenue angle. ONCE - just ONCE - I'd like to see them come clean on the expense side. You'd think that all that tax revenue was just clear increased city income to hear them tell it. What a crock! That's what we expect, though, SOSDD.
Deb December 10, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Someone I know who was in on the early marketing of this development (but has since stepped back) laughed long and loud when I said to him, "It's supposed to be 50/50 right? Commercial and residential?" He said, try 30/70. After he stopped laughing. They may have tweaked that, but the spirit of the law certainly wasn't followed.
Deb December 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Well, YAY for city council! Fool us once, shame on us, etc. I'm starting to get the feeling our city administration is not to be trusted. [sarcasm off]
Deb December 10, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Well, if it's what's been standard - 1.5 parking spaces per unit - you may have a point there.
JOHN CAHILL December 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM
kim is not a redhead
Rich Felton December 14, 2012 at 01:49 AM
It is called UN AGENDA 21 and ICLEI.Local officials like to call it "smart growth".There are incentives for cities and towns to creat "smart growth" districts. Communities can receive between $10,000 and $600,00 in state funding(your and my taxes), plus an additional $3,000 for every new housing unit created, in exchange for adopting special zoning districts that allow higher density developments. This has been going on since Mayor Driscoll took office.
windpower December 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Hay planning board ,todays high tide will be 12.4 .No storm ,no rain to back up the river ,just tide . SO take a drive to your two afforadble sites in the area ,and take note of where the water is . Oh by the way don't take lower bridge st. ,it will be flooded . And may I add, with the rise in sea level, it will happen 4 times a year . PS take a look at where you want the senior center . bring boots
John Merrett December 14, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Rich, You're spot on!Agenda 21 is sold under many names to hide it's true agenda. Property owners need to pay close attention to this issue, because under Agenda 21, your property rights are gone.
Rich Felton December 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Can you believe they are putting our Seniors down on that site? Just the way Mayor Driscoll came up with that site at the last second is hard to swallow. Our Seniors wanted a building of their own and not a shared one like the Mayor and unfortunately most of our councilors voted in favor of. I was appalled when Mayor Driscoll quoted in the Salem News that the "Seniors are getting everything in a building except a water front view". She just doesn't listen and that's why I call her the "my way Mayor or no way".Just my observation.


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