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Deadline for Short-Term Rental License Renewals is December 31, 2017 - 12/08/17

Do you rent your home or rooms on a vacation rental website like Airbnb or Flipkey? Do you know someone who does? City code refers to these rentals as short-term and accessory short-term rentals. Please help us spread the word about the required December 31 license renewal deadline, and the requirement to be licensed to operate within the City.

-- City Council Adopted Changes in Summer 2017 --

After receiving comments from the public, the Salem City Council approved changes to the Salem Revised Code (SRC) to allow short-term rentals and accessory short-term rentals in a variety of different zones. These changes, effective July 12, 2017, require that those currently renting, or looking to rent, their home must apply for a license with the City of Salem Planning Division and renew the license each year by December 31. You can view properly licensed short-term and accessory short-term rentals on the City's website at the following location by selecting "Short-term Rental" from the "License Type" drop-down menu: http://bit.ly/cos-license.

Just like hotels and lodging websites such as Expedia and Priceline, short-term and accessory short-term rental hosts and hosting platforms are required to register with the City of Salem Finance Division in order to report and pay Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to the City on a monthly basis. City code requires the operator who facilitates the reservation and collects the payment to pay the tax. While this normally means that the hosting platform (such as Airbnb) is responsible for reporting and paying the tax, it does not relieve individual hosts from their responsibility. Please contact your hosting platform to confirm their compliance with the requirements in Salem Revised Code Chapter 37.

Operators and hosting platforms who don't register and abide by code requirements will be subject to fines and penalties.

-- How to Register or Renew Your Short-Term or Accessory Short-Term Rental --

1. Get Licensed / Renew Your Existing License. Contact the City of Salem Planning Division to apply for or renew your license. There are different requirements based on zoning, occupancy, and type of use. More information is available at: http://bit.ly/cosshortterm. As part of your license approval you will be automatically registered with the City's Finance Division to Pay TOT.

2. Report and Pay TOT. Once licensed and registered you must complete the Operator Monthly Reporting Form and pay the TOT. The form and taxes are due to the City on or before the last day of the month immediately following the month during which someone paid to stay in your home. You must submit the Operator Monthly Reporting Form each month, even if your hosting platform collects and pays the tax on your behalf. The form can be found here: http://bit.ly/cos-opform

For more information, please contact the Planning Division at (503) 588-6213, or the Finance Division at (503) 588-6210. If you have questions/concerns related to a location currently operating within the City, please contact Code Compliance at (503) 588-6421.

Salem Accepting Grant Applications for Projects Benefiting Low Income Households - 12/06/17

2018-2019 Program Year Applications Accepted Dec. 5, 2017 -- Jan. 5, 2018

Salem, Ore. -- The City of Salem Urban Development Department is now accepting applications for the 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership, and General Fund public service programs. Those interested in applying for funding must apply via www.salemgrants.org by 5 p.m. on Jan. 5.

The CDBG Program benefits low to moderate-income households by funding projects that revitalize neighborhoods, increase affordable housing, expand economic opportunities, and improve community facilities and services. The HOME Investment Partnerships program funds activities that build, buy, and rehabilitate affordable housing for rent, or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people.

Projects or programs applying for funding from CDBG and the General Fund must be located within Salem city limits. Those applying for HOME funding must be located in Salem or Keizer city limits. All applicants must serve residents of those cities who are at or below 80 percent median family income.

The online application at www.salemgrants.org contains federal and local guidelines for all three programs, as well as the City's application process. Applications must comply with strict eligibility criteria. Special consideration may be given to federally funded projects or programs aligned with the following 2015-2019 priority goals: Promote Economic Development, End Homelessness, Expand Affordable Housing, and Neighborhood Revitalization.

The City is holding application technical assistance workshops:
* Thurs., Dec. 7, 9:30 a.m., City of Salem Urban Development Conference Room, 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem
* Mon., Dec. 11, 2 p.m., City of Salem Urban Development Conference Room, 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem

CDBG and HOME Investment Partnerships Programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are authorized by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended. Funds are for the 2018 Program Year, beginning Jul. 1, 2018. The estimated entitlement allocation for the program year is $1.8 million. This published amount is subject to change based upon Congressional action. For more information, go to www.hud.gov.

For more information, contact Shelly Ehenger at 503-540-2494 or sehenger@cityofsalem.net. Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta informaciĆ³n, por favor llame 503-588-6178.

The City of Salem's Urban Development Department is committed to enhancing community prosperity through an array of programs in its four major service areas: Real Property Services, Housing and Social Services, Economic Development and Downtown Revitalization. The Urban Development Department: manages the City's urban renewal areas (URA) and redevelopment projects within the URAs; administers federally funded block grant and housing programs; provides loans and grants to eligible businesses, homeowners, and renters; and manages leases, acquires, and sells properties for the City.

22nd Annual Riverfront Park Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony - 11/17/17

Bundle up the family and join your friends and neighbors on Friday, December 1 as Salem celebrates the 22nd Annual Riverfront Park Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony! This free community event is one of Salem's most loved community traditions.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. and Mayor Chuck Bennett will lead the tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. One lucky child in attendance will be selected to help Mayor Bennett "flip the switch" to light the holiday tree.

Fun activities include:

* Free hot cocoa and cookies provided by Roth's Fresh Market.
* A family craft booth hosted by Straub Environmental Center.
* Musical performances from the Grizzly Youth Choir.
* A visit from Santa with special escort service provided by the Salem Fire Department.
* Real live reindeer!

Riverfront Park is located at 200 Water Street NE in downtown Salem. This annual holiday event is sponsored by the City of Salem and Comcast.

Council Task Force to Evaluate Near-Term Solutions for Reducing Bridge Traffic Congestion - 11/17/17

Salem, OR -- On November 13 City Council voted to create a task force to find ways to alleviate traffic congestion around the Marion and Center Street Bridges. It will consist of four City Council members who will develop a list of short to long-term recommendations.

At the council meeting, Mayor Bennett said, "We know there is an ongoing congestion problem downtown and that traffic flow is not working."

For the past 10 years, regional transportation experts, City Staff, and the community have considered options and alternatives to a new Willamette River crossing. This process will produce a Final Environmental Impact Statement for a potential new crossing, but not the bridge itself. There is no timeline for completion of a Final Environmental Impact Statement, and it could take another 10 years beyond completion to fund, design, and begin construction of a new bridge.

In light of that fact, Council recognizes that current congestion must be reduced as soon as possible. "We need to make some real progress on that now," said Ward 6 Councilor Chris Hoy.

The task force will examine the results of studies and projects from the past 20 years, as well as current and projected traffic data to inform their recommendations. Any potential solutions they develop will be independent of any decisions related to a new bridge.
"I think that this proposal really has nothing to do with any environmental impact statement," said Tom Andersen, Ward 2 Councilor. "I think what we're doing here is a separate project that needs to happen right now because the goal here is to improve the traffic flow and to decrease congestion on both sides of the river."

The task force will hold several meetings from January 2018 through June 2018. They will primarily focus on finding better ways for motor vehicles to get around on and near the bridges while keeping in mind other forms of transportation such as walking, biking, and public transit.

Residents may attend the task force meetings and will have the opportunity to review and comment on recommendations when they are proposed for inclusion in the Capital Improvement Program. Meeting dates will be available on the City website. You can learn more about the background and scope of the task force by visiting: bit.ly/costaskforce.

Be a Part of Salem's Downtown Streetscape Design Plan - 11/14/17

*Attend the Kickoff Open House November 30 or Participate Online*

Do you have ideas about how to make Downtown Salem's sidewalks more inviting, exciting, or fun? We want to hear from you! Salem residents are invited to attend the Salem Streetscape Plan Kickoff Open House on Thurs., Nov. 30, 6 -- 7:30 p.m. at the Senator Hearing Room/Courthouse Square, 555 Court St. NE. Those who cannot attend the open house are invited to participate virtually Nov. 30 -- Dec. 22 at www.cityofsalem.net/downtown. The link will be live on Nov. 30.

Streetscape improvements were identified as one of the top urban renewal funding priorities within the Riverfront-Downtown Urban Renewal Area during a series of 12 focus group meetings in 2016. Walker Macy was selected to lead community visioning and design efforts. Their experience in streetscape projects have been shown to enhance downtowns and their project team consists of experienced professionals in the fields of landscape architecture/planning, civil engineering, transportation, public involvement, and economics.

For more information on the Downtown Streetscape Plan, visit www.cityofsalem.net/downtown or contact Sheri Wahrgren, Downtown Revitalization Manager, at 503-540-2495 or swahrgren@cityofsalem.net.

Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta informaciĆ³n, por favor llame 503-588-6178.

The City of Salem's Urban Development Department is committed to enhancing community prosperity through an array of programs in its four major service areas: Real Property Services, Housing and Social Services, Economic Development and Downtown Revitalization. The Urban Development Department: manages the City's urban renewal areas (URA) and redevelopment projects within the URAs; administers federally funded block grant and housing programs; provides loans and grants to eligible businesses, homeowners, and renters; and manages leases, acquires, and sells properties for the City.

New Traffic Signal at Union Street NE and Commercial Street NE - 11/14/17

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, the City will activate a new traffic signal at the intersection of Union Street NE and Commercial Street NE. The new signal increases safety for bicyclists and pedestrians traveling between the Union Street Railroad Bridge and downtown Salem. The City also improved lighting, added crosswalks, built curb extensions and a median island to further improve safety at the crossing.

Vehicles eastbound on Union Street NE will now be directed southbound-only onto Commercial Street NE. A blue light indicator for bicycles traveling across the intersection from west to east was also added.

The completion of this project delivers on a priority Salem residents identified in the 2013 Central Salem Mobility Study. According to project engineer Julie Titchbourne, the signal is the first step in connecting the Union Street Bridge with 12th ST as part of the Family-Friendly Bikeway. The $1.13-million intersection improvement began in June and is jointly funded by the Riverfront-Downtown Urban Renewal Area and the Salem-Keizer Area Study Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Residents can learn more about the Central Salem Mobility Study and other projects it recommends by visiting: http://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/central-salem-mobility-study.aspx.