Seek an Adjustment to Land Use Standards

If you want to improve or build on your property but cannot meet a development standard in the Salem Revised Code (SRC), you can seek an adjustment. Adjustments provide an alternative way to meet the purposes of the SRC and provide flexibility to allow reasonable development of property where special conditions or unusual circumstances exist.

Adjustments cannot be granted to:

  1. Allow a use or activity not allowed under the Unified Development Code [SRC Chapters 110-900]
  2. Change the status of a use or activity
  3. Modify a definition or use classification
  4. Modify a use standard
  5. Modify the applicability of any requirement
  6. Modify a development standard specifically identified as non-adjustable
  7. Modify a development standard that contains the word “prohibited”
  8. Modify a procedural requirement
  9. Modify a condition of approval placed on property through a previous planning action
  10. A design review guideline or design review standard
  11. The required landscaping in the Industrial Business Campus (IBC) zone

Step 1: Determine your application type

There are two types of adjustments:

Class 1 adjustments allow limited deviations of up to 20 percent from numerical development standards. For example, a Class 1 Adjustment could be requested to reduce a setback from a property line from 20 to 16 feet.

Class 2 adjustments allow deviations of more than 20 percent from numerical development standards or deviations from other types of development standards. For example, a Class 2 Adjustment could be requested to reduce a setback from a property line from 20 to 15 feet or to allow a sight-obscuring fence where the code does not allow it.

If you need help determining what type of adjustment you need, you can talk to a planner.

Step 2: Apply for an adjustment

An application for a Class 1 adjustment is processed as a Type II procedure under SRC Chapter 300.

Process

  • Application. You must submit all required items listed in the application checklist section below to the Permit Application Center.

  • Completeness review. Staff reviews your application for completeness. If the application is not complete, you will be notified as to what information is missing and will have 180 days to submit the additional information. You may track the status of your application online at the City of Salem permit tracking webpage.

  • Notice and public comment. After your application is deemed complete, staff sends notice of the proposal to the applicant, property owner, neighborhood association, and property owners within 250 feet. The recipients of the notice may submit written comments within the public comment period of 14 days after the date the notice is mailed.

  • Conformance review. Staff reviews the applicant’s proposed plan for conformance with the applicable criteria for a Class 1 Adjustment under SRC 250.005(d)(1). If staff cannot approve the application, you will be contacted with the reasons the plan does not comply.

  • Decision. The Planning Administrator issues a decision to approve or deny the application based upon whether the proposal meets the applicable criteria.

Application checklist

You need to apply in person at the Permit Application Center, bringing the following:

  • Completed land use application form. The application form must be signed by the applicant(s), property owner(s), and/or duly authorized representative(s). If the applicant and/or property owner is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), please also provide a list of all members of the LLC with your land use application.

  • Application fee. You must pay the application fee when you file your application.

  • Recorded deeds. You must submit a copy of the recorded deed for the land, including a legal description.

  • Written statement. You must submit a written statement describing the proposal and how it conforms to the approval criteria in SRC 250.005(d)(1):

    • The purpose underlying the specific development standard proposed for adjustment is:

      • Clearly inapplicable to the proposed development; or

      • Clearly satisfied by the proposed development.

    • The proposed adjustment will not unreasonably impact surrounding existing or potential uses or development.

  • Site plan. You must submit two copies of the site plan for the adjustment, with at least one copy 8.5" x 11" or 11" x 17" in size for copying and the other to a standard scale. The site plan must include the following:

    • The total site area, dimensions, and orientation relative to north

    • Location of proposed primary and accessory structures and other improvements, including fences, walls, and driveways, indicating distance to such structures from property lines and adjacent on-site structures

    • All proposed landscape areas on the site, with an indication of square footage and as a percentage of site area

    • Location, height, and material of fences, berms, walls, and other proposed screening as they relate to landscaping and screening required by SRC Chapter 807

    • Location of all trees and vegetation required to be protected pursuant to SRC Chapter 808

    • Identification of vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle parking and circulation area, including handicapped parking stalls, disembarking areas, accessible routes of travel, and proposed ramps.

  • Existing conditions plan. You must submit two copies of the existing conditions plan for the adjustment, with at least one copy 8.5" x 11" or 11" x 17" in size for copying and the other to a standard scale. The exiting conditions plan must include the following:

    • The total site area, dimensions, and orientation relative to north

    • Location of existing structures and other improvements on the site, including accessory structures, fences, walls, and driveways, noting their distance from property lines

    • Location of 100-year flood plain, if applicable

    • Location of drainage patterns and drainage courses, if applicable.

​An application for a Class 2 adjustment is processed as a Type II procedureunder SRC Chapter 300.

Process

  • Pre-application conference. You must request a pre-application conference prior to submitting your application.

  • Application. You must submit all required items listed in the application checklist section below to the Permit Application Center.

  • Completeness review. Staff reviews application for completeness. If the application is not complete, you will be notified as to what information is missing and will have 180 days to submit the additional information. You may track the status of your application online at the City of Salem permit tracking webpage.

  • Notice and public comment. After your application is deemed complete, staff sends notice of the proposal to the applicant, property owner, neighborhood association, and property owners within 250 feet. The recipients of the notice may submit written comments within the public comment period of 14 days after the date the notice is mailed.

  • Conformance review. Staff reviews the applicant’s proposed plan for conformance with the applicable criteria for a Class 1 Adjustment under SRC 250.005(d)(2). If staff cannot approve the application, you will be contacted with the reasons the plan does not comply.

  • Decision. The Planning Administrator issues a decision to approve or deny the application based upon whether the proposal meets the applicable criteria.

Application checklist

You need to apply in person at the Permit Application Center, bringing the following:

  • Completed land use application form. The application form must be signed by the applicant(s), property owner(s), and/or duly authorized representative(s). If the applicant and/or property owner is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), please also provide a list of all members of the LLC with your land use application.

  • Application fee. You must pay the application fee when you file your application.

  • Recorded deeds. You must submit a copy of the recorded deed for the land, including a legal description.

  • Written statement. You must submit a written statement describing the proposal and how it conforms to the approval criteria in SRC 250.005(d)(2):

    • The purpose underlying the specific development standard proposed for adjustment is:

      • Clearly inapplicable to the proposed development; or

      • Clearly satisfied by the proposed development.

    • If located within a residential zone, the proposed development will not detract from the livability or appearance of the residential area.

    • If more than one adjustment has been requested, the cumulative effect of all the adjustments result in a project which is still consistent with the overall purpose of the zone.

  • Site plan. You must submit two copies of the site plan for the adjustment, with at least one copy 8.5" x 11" or 11" x 17" in size for copying and the other to a standard scale. The site plan must include the following:

    • The total site area, dimensions, and orientation relative to north;

    • Location of proposed primary and accessory structures and other improvements, including fences, walls, and driveways, indicating distance to such structures from property lines and adjacent on-site structures;

    • All proposed landscape areas on the site, with an indication of square footage and as a percentage of site area

    • Location, height, and material of fences, berms, walls, and other proposed screening as they relate to landscaping and screening required by SRC Chapter 807

    • Location of all trees and vegetation required to be protected pursuant to SRC Chapter 808

    • Identification of vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle parking and circulation area, including handicapped parking stalls, disembarking areas, accessible routes of travel, and proposed ramps

  • Existing conditions plan. You must submit two copies of the existing conditions plan for the adjustment, with at least one copy 8.5" x 11" or 11" x 17" in size for copying and the other to a standard scale. The exiting conditions plan must include the following:

    • The total site area, dimensions, and orientation relative to north

    • Location of existing structures and other improvements on the site, including accessory structures, fences, walls, and driveways, noting their distance from property lines

    • Location of 100-year flood plain, if applicable

    • Location of drainage patterns and drainage courses, if applicable.

Contact us

Permit Application Center Planning Desk
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 320
Salem OR 97301
Mailing address:
555 Liberty ST SE RM 305
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
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