Community Development Department

The Community Development Department works to ensure the strength of our community at the neighborhood level and citywide through support for planning and civic involvement, permitting, inspecting and, where needed, protecting historic community resources and providing library services.

Divisions and functions

The Community Development Department provides a wide variety of services to assist residents in developing a dynamic and livable city.  

Salem Public Library: Books, DVDs, and music

Salem Public Library offers over 400,000 items, including print and audio books, DVDs, and music CDs to Salem’s 157,000 residents 53 hours a week at the Main Library and 16 hours a week at the West Salem Branch.

Other services include:

  • Public-use computers
  • Programs for youths and adults
  • Meeting rooms and one auditorium available for rent to community groups
  • Monthly displays by local and regional artists
  • A permanent art collection

Building and Safety: Construction plans review, permitting, and inspection

The Building and Safety Division under the direction of the Building Official operates the City of Salem’s Permit Application Center and is responsible for the consistent application of building codes in construction and remodeling including:

  • Construction plans review
  • Inspection services
  • Permitting, including parking permits and business licenses.

In 2012, Salem’s Building and Safety Division became the first in the State of Oregon to achieve International Accreditation Service (IAS) Building Department accreditation. A subsidiary of the International Code Council, IAS provides an independent assessment and verification that the department is operating at the highest legal, ethical, and technical standards.

Planning: Future community growth and development

The Planning Division aims to enhance the quality of life for residents and to promote a livable, vibrant city by facilitating and implementing the community’s vision for Salem. The division does this through a variety of services, including:

Neighborhood Enhancement: Strong neighborhoods, prevention, and code compliance

The division focuses on the City Council goals related to quality of life, as well as public safety through prevention, code compliance, civic involvement, social justice, youth development and strong neighborhoods.

Program areas include:

  • Enforcing nuisance, housing, and property maintenance codes.
  • Inspecting multifamily properties to insure building safety by the application of building, fire, and housing codes.
  • Support for neighborhood associations and community partnerships
  • Creating positive experiences, relationships, and environments for Salem’s youth through a variety of community programs.

Community Development Director

Norman Wright

Contact us

Community Development Department
555 Liberty ST SE RM 305
Salem OR 97301
Phone: