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Salem’s development code has grown to 1,226 pages and needs a cleanup.

What is the Unified Development Code?

The Unified Development Code represents the completion of a multi-year project to streamline and update the City’s existing codes relating to land use and development within the City.  Last updated in 1983, these codes have gotten older and messier each year and are in need of a cleanup.    

The proposed UDC can be viewed here or by clicking  the “Unified Development Code” tab at the top of this page.   

The Unified Development Code aims to make the code easier to use and understand by:    

  • Clarifying confusing development standards;
  • Fixing inconsistencies, conflicts, and gaps to reduce confusion and error;
  • Simplifying and streamlining processes;
  • Making necessary changes to comply with requirements of State law; and
  • Introducing tables and graphics to more simply convey development requirements.

The Unified Development Code improves the City’s zoning and development codes in several key ways, for example:    

  • Establishes a common-sense framework for which land uses are allowed in different zones.  The framework groups uses with common land use impacts and functions together. 
  • Provides greater flexibility within overlay zones (those areas with special requirements to achieve a desired community outcome) and makes it easier to find and understand the standards.
  • In those zones where required setbacks from property lines are currently based on bufferyards (landscaped separation areas between different uses), the update establishes a simpler approach based on adjoining zoning, rather than adjoining use.
  • Revises the Industrial Business Campus (IBC) zone to allow a broader range of uses consistent with modern market forces.  As an example, the Unified Development Code will expand the types of office uses that can be in the zone.

Interactive Zoning Map

Use the interactive zoning map below to quickly view the zone and overlay zone chapters that will apply to your property under the Unified Development Code.    

Simply search for, or zoom into, your property on the zoning map; click on your property;  and then click the zone/overlay icon in the window that appears to view the applicable zone and overlay zone chapters.  Detailed instructions for how to use this map can be found here

View Larger Map 

Benefits of the New Code

The Unified Development Code is worth the effort.  The result is a cleaned-up code that is:             

  • Clearly written; easier to understand.
  • Consistent: procedures and timeframes.
  • Streamlined; more concise.
  • Easier to access.
  • Saves time: fewer mistakes and false starts
  • A useful tool for planners trying to help applicants.



Have a question about the Unified Development Code?

View Frequently Asked Questions

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Bryce Bishop
City of Salem Planner II
503-588-6173 x7599

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