To the Editor:
The big box development in Area C at Keizer Station seems to be moving off the back burner.
The City is reallocating budgeted funds for one established city board for the purchase of land, currently privately owned in Area B of Keizer Station.
Big box development in Area C is a done deal and has been since a text amendment process was utilized to streamline the process of approving development that was not clearly delineated in Keizer’s Development Code. To be fair and balanced, it should be remembered that part of that text amendment was a commitment, all be it verbal, that the master plan, required for development in Area C, is to benefit from community participation in its development. The community, if it really cares about the vitality of Keizer beyond the boundaries of Keizer Station, should exercise this opportunity to positively enhance this development. As a caveat to that statement, the community should be aware that, as with passage of the text amendment, the die has potentially been cast and input that will make its way into the master plan could be as monumental as determining what color and message can be expressed in signage for the development.
Has the City made a one hundred eighty degree turn on its stated position, that non-budgeted expenditures would not be funded? Funding for purchase of land in Area B is being reallocated from the River Road Renaissance budget, thus rendering it a social club until such time as that funding is reimbursed to Keizer Urban Renewal Board upon sale of that nicely packaged parcel of Area B. The property owner whose property will be purchased by the City is benefiting from the precedence set when assembling properties for the development of Area A of Keizer Station, all except one property owner. Precedence in this case is a benefit to a private citizen. The interesting element of this land packaging will be to see what the composition of the development team is that may purchase the property. There may be more to it than is visible on the surface.
Again the economy appears to be getting better. Let’s hope that it is for the general benefit of Keizer and its residents.