Photo Illustration by Andrew Jackson/KEIZERTIMES

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A local ballot measure restricting buildings more than 65,000 square feet to Keizer Station’s Area A has qualified for a special election next year.

The Keizer City Council can pre-empt the election by choosing to adopt the measure at its November 15 meeting, or introduce a competing measure to forward to voters. Otherwise it goes to voters March 8, 2011.

“As I understand it, they either have to accept it wholly – exactly, to the comma – or not,” said City Attorney Shannon Johnson. “And if it’s not then it goes on the ballot if it qualifies.”

Mayor Lore Christopher along with Councilors Cathy Clark and Brandon Smith have said publicly they disagree with the measure.

Chief petitioners are Kevin Hohnbaum, Jane Mulholland and James Jobes. They submitted about 3,765 signatures, and at least 2,739 – the minimum number needed to make the ballot – qualified. Mulholland and Hohnbaum co-founded Keep Keizer Livable in the midst of a big-box battle in their neighborhood, near Chemawa Road and Lockhaven Drive.

“It’s very, very exciting,” said Hohnbaum upon hearing the news.  “… It’s nice to see the efforts of so many people pay off.”

The exact text reads:

“No retail building larger than 65,000 square feet, including indoor space and outdoor and temporary display space, shall be permitted in the City of Keizer outside of the area identified in the City of Keizer, Keizer Station Plan as Area A of Keizer Station, which is bordered by Labish Ditch to the north, Chemawa Rd. NE to the south, Interstate 5 to the east and Portland & Western Railroad tracks to the west.”