July 31, 2006

A new “green” street system is underway
In June, after 18 months of coordinating with the City of Salem and site planning, the first steps were taken in making the Pringle Creek Community a reality.

Sustainable Development Inc, the main force behind this new community, is committed to creating a community of residential- and commercial-use buildings, gardens, parks and trails for walking and biking — all of which will be made out of environmentally friendly materials.

According to Lauren Meyers, assistant to the president of Sustainable Development Inc., Pringle Creek Community has created a buzz in Salem.

“A lot of people are interested,” she said. “It will provide Salem residents with housing and it’s unique because there aren’t many places like this in the world.”

Local contractor North Santiam Paving recently finished surveying the area and began installing underground utilities. This was the first step in completing a groundbreaking “green street” system, designed to naturally filter 90 percent of the rainwater back into an aquifer. Porous pavement will be laid down to assist in the filtering process.

Preserving 80 percent of the existing trees while enhancing Pringle Creek and its natural marshlands is also a plan of Sustainable Development. North Santiam Paving has started using biodiesel in some of its trucks and other heavy equipment to keep with the “green” motif.

For the remainder of the summer, crews will work six days a week building streets and pathways and setting up and pricing lots for construction. People interested in living in this community can start purchasing lots this fall.

“After people purchase their lots, they can work with one of our builders or one of their own to design their homes,” Meyers said.

A year from now, Meyers expects that houses will still be in the process of being built, but anticipates that the streets and village center will have been completed.

“It takes awhile to build a house, so there will still be a lot of construction going on,” Meyers said.

She predicts that the Pringle Creek Community will make an impact on the state. “It’s one of a kind. When it becomes successful, other developers will catch the bug.”