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Old 06-08-2007, 11:53 AM
 
29 posts, read 140,401 times
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Hello:

Considering making a move to Oregon and would love some input in areas - Salem and Eugene.

Looking for homes around 250-350K, safe neighborhoods, great schools, cultural diversity (or at least nearby), great outdoorsy activity and best weather.

Any thoughts?

Thanks much!
Ron
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Portland Metro
2,300 posts, read 4,120,192 times
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Are there any allergy sufferers in your family? If so, Eugene may be less desireable--lots of grass pollen funnels up the Willamette Valley to Eugene carried by the prevailing winds.

From what I've seen, both cities have great neighborhoods. Perhaps some residents will be able to speak to the quality of the schools. Of course, in Salem you are about an hour closer to Portland for additional cultural activities.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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Eugene is FAR more interesting in my opinion, although Salem is closer to Portland. Eugene has very good schools and Salem's schools are not as strong.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
27 posts, read 138,505 times
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Salem if you're looking for a little more traditional city feel. And as jjpop said, you're right by Portland for big city stuff.

Eugene if you're serious about the cultural diversity. Eugene is also easier to get around in with less traffic than Salem.

Edit: I should add that West Salem is a booming neighborhood with a ton of homes in your price range and brand new schools. Does that mean their good? Who knows, but at least your kids won't be breathing asbestos and eating lead paint.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Portland Metro
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Quote:
Edit: I should add that West Salem is a booming neighborhood with a ton of homes in your price range and brand new schools. Does that mean their good? Who knows, but at least your kids won't be breathing asbestos and eating lead paint.
I know someone who lives in Dallas (approximately 10-12 miles west of Salem) and she told me that new subdivisions are springing up left and right. She also told me that the city government is very pro-growth but very anti-tax, so consequently no new schools are being built along with all the affordable new housing.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjpop View Post
I know someone who lives in Dallas (approximately 10-12 miles west of Salem) and she told me that new subdivisions are springing up left and right. She also told me that the city government is very pro-growth but very anti-tax, so consequently no new schools are being built along with all the affordable new housing.
Your friend has a common misconception. City government has nothing to do with schools. Oregon schools are separate entities, with their own taxing districts, that don't receive any municipal or county funds.

There is also nothing the city can do about taxes. Until 12 years ago, all cities, counties and school districts were funded by property taxes. Then a California transplant named Don McIntyre led a successful property tax revolt. When the dust settled, property assessments were fixed at 1991 levels, with only 3% a year allowed increase in assessed value. Tax rates were capped at $5 per $1000 for school support and $10 per $1000 for non-school support, including fire, police and government operations. The state had to pick up the difference for school support, but local governments were left to swing in the wind.

Voters can approve property taxes for bond measures outside the limit, which is how new schools get built. Unfortunately, voters rarely think building new schools is worthwhile, so lots of kids attend class in mobile homes shoved onto the school grounds as temporary classrooms.

Meanwhile, city and county budgets are about 60% of their 1995 levels, which means curtailed services, inadequate staffing, deteriorating roads and higher user fees.

Some towns are thinking about forcing developers to fund new schools by tacking on $10,000 in System Development Charges for every new subdivision lot. So far, I don't think any have done it, but eventually someone is going to have to deal with the expanding population.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Portland Metro
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Thanks for the clarification, Larry. I think my friend is concerned that the city continues to approve new subdivisions seemingly without regard for the school situation.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
15,296 posts, read 14,751,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjpop View Post
Thanks for the clarification, Larry. I think my friend is concerned that the city continues to approve new subdivisions seemingly without regard for the school situation.
Not seemingly, entirely. If the voters want to build a new school, it's up to them. Meanwhile the law mandates that, if property is zoned for development, the city has to approve that development. They don't have a choice.

Expecting the city government to take care of school buildings is like expecting the schools to take care of streets and sewers. The two organizations are entirely separate. It would surprise me if the School Board and the City Council even talk to each other.
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Portland Metro
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Larry, your points are well taken. However, it is up to the city to decide on zoning changes. I'm not sure that's what is happening in Dallas, but I know here in Corvallis zoning changes go through a process that requires review by the city's planning division and final approval from the city council.

So a city council potentially has some affect on overdevelopment. I will say, though, it is up to the citiziens of a city to be vocal (i.e. attend council and school board meetings and vote) if they are dissatisfied with the direction their city and school system is going.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
15,296 posts, read 14,751,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjpop View Post
Larry, your points are well taken. However, it is up to the city to decide on zoning changes. I'm not sure that's what is happening in Dallas, but I know here in Corvallis zoning changes go through a process that requires review by the city's planning division and final approval from the city council.

So a city council potentially has some affect on overdevelopment. I will say, though, it is up to the citiziens of a city to be vocal (i.e. attend council and school board meetings and vote) if they are dissatisfied with the direction their city and school system is going.
Once again, the city has no choice. State law mandates that every urban area maintains a 20-year inventory of buildable lands inside its Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). The city can say where housing developments should be built, but they have no control over whether they get built or not. That is entirely up to developers.

Zoning changes require a modification of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, including public hearings and approval by the governing body. Those are the hearings you see at the Planning Commission and City Council. If you visit the Corvallis Planning Department and ask to see the UGB map, you will find large areas already zoned residential, commercial or industrial, and ready to develop. No zoning changes are necessary.
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