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Some differences are noted between Stayton and Sublimity; they have different histories of which they are proud and were considered very distinct communities until the last 20 years. Housing, income levels and kids characterize the differences.

Sublimity has always been primarily a housing area. It has never had a downtown core, although it has a commercial area along the main thoroughfare of Center Street. Sublimity is known as a high-end housing area for Salem commuters. New housing units begin at $250,000. Costs are attributed to high lot costs, system development fees of $10,000 or more, and city permits. The city recently has mandated a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet in an effort to maintain its attraction for higher end homes. Although Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development currently contests this ordinance, a large number of local residents support the measure.

“In twenty years, this area will be totally part of the Salem economy, like Gresham is to Portland.”

“Since Highway 22 became a four lane, I can get to downtown Salem faster than my brother who lives in South Salem.”

“It’s faster to travel to and from Salem than to live in Salem and commute across town.”

“After 1990, more people started coming, interested in history and the watershed. It’s getting to be less of a working town now.”

“When I came in 1991, it was a real blue collar town, less than 3000 people. Then new people started coming with new ideas, people interested in the area’s history and the watershed.”

“The minimum lot size is good because higher end homes create less demand on services. Salem is trying to export its poor.”

Despite these changes, the rural flavor of the area is still very much in evidence, however. The green belts are very pronounced. Communities have an end point where the country begins. Also, the mixed uses customary in

A JKA Report


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