By GREG RANDS
The responsibility of the planning commission is to review city of Keizer staff requests for items that range from how tall a fence can be or the set back requirements to building a fence, to a zone change, master plan reviews to construct new buildings and discussing the pros and cons of extending our urban growth line. We also take testimony from city residences who are requesting everything from a zoning variance to a zone change to presenting a master plan with construction plans to review.
Though many of the issues we discuss may seem dry and boring, the Planning Commission has a great deal of influence as to how the City of Keizer will grow and look in the future. It is our responsibility to listen to all testimony and forward to the City Council our recommendation in regard to the issue we are discussing.
One issue that consumed several public hearings was the annexation of land next to Keizer Rapids Park. This is land outside of our Urban Growth Boundary, therefore we were not only dealing with the city but also Marion County. A lot of work had to be put in by staff and reviewed by us through the public hearing process in order to make sure the hearings were accurate and fair. I believe the Planning Commission did a very good job in listening to all of the testimony and forwarded to the City Council a recommendation that will serve Keizer residents well as this land is developed as a park in the future.
We held several public hearings regarding the review of a proposed master plan for Area C of Keizer Station.
I am confident the Planning Commission will continue to do what is in the best interests for all citizens of Keizer, We would like to more citizen involvement as we discuss the many issues than come before us. The vast majority of our meetings we do not have any representation from the citizens of Keizer in attendance. The Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month
The Planning Commission has a very good working relationship with the staff of the city and our councilors. We are under no pressure from anyone in the city or council to control us in anyway. The Planning Commissioners are free to ask their questions and vote as they feel best on each issue we discuss. Therefore to fulfill our mission this year I believe we are fine, other than the hope more citizens will take the time to come check us out and provide us with their opinions.
Greg Rands is chair of the Keizer Planning Commission.