Day: March 4, 2011

Critics charge traffic impact from big box downplayed in study

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes An opponent-funded review of the Keizer Station Area C traffic impact analysis calls the developer’s study “inaccurate” and “flawed.” The review by Rick Nys of Greenlight Engineering states the original traffic impact analysis (TIA) “may understate the effects of the proposed development on the transportation system.” According to the latest information from Kittelson and Associates, the firm which prepared the Area B and C traffic studies, once built out the development will generate about 940 total trips during the afternoon peak hour. The study does not address traffic outside the morning and afternoon peak hours, and opponents have noted the as-yet-unnamed store – which could be Walmart – is likely to be open 24 hours, increasing traffic at all hours. One objection Nys had was that the Chemawa Road – Verda Lane intersection is not included in the TIA, despite that the intersection is failing during afternoon peak traffic according to the city’s Transportation System Plan. City officials are planning a roundabout for that intersection. They have said the developer won’t be required to help fund improvements there because it wasn’t meeting acceptable service levels prior to any development. Nys also said the driveway for the proposed big-box grocer sits about 170 feet south city regulations allow. “The proposed location will be in place for years to come and will quickly become a...

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Beware of buzzwords

By ROSS DAY When it comes to politics, I have a number of rules I live by.  These are little sayings – or “truisms” I suppose – that I use to guide my way down the complicated political path.  My rules are simple to understand, usually accurate, and hopefully helpful. “Always be the bearer of your own bad news.” “Don’t get mad, don’t get even, just get ahead.” “Never trust a guy with two first names.”  (except, of course, our own state senator Larry George). And this one “Beware of buzzwords.” Unless you have been driving down River Road with your eyes closed (and if you have, you have bigger problems, to be sure) let me say two things: first, thanks for opening your eyes to read my column.  Second, you have seen the liberal use of the buzzword “livable” all over town. The signs read “Keep Keizer Livable.”  Who doesn’t want to keep Keizer livable?  What is the other option?  Make Keizer unlivable?  Isn’t the reason we all live here because we find Keizer to be livable?  Curious. I have spent the better half of the last ten years as a land use attorney.  I have heard the term “livable” used probably thousands of times.  And still, to this day, no one has been able to give me a satisfactory definition of the word “livable”. The reason why...

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Civil war over big box stores

By ALLEN PRELL I have been overwhelmed by the information available to the residents of Keizer in regards to Measure 24-314, the big box issue, originated by  Keep Keizer Livable, a well financed and organized group. Organized opposition to this measure does not exist and is relying on common sense for your vote. I visited the Keep Keizer Livable office in the School House Square and spoke with a couple of volunteers. I give this organization credit for ambition, organization, determination and passion. But, it does not change the facts of what the measure will do for the future growth of Keizer if passed (drastically limit  business opportunity) and what the passage of measure 24-314 will not do (keep a big box store out of Area C). I was given a lot of information about square footage of businesses currently allowed in Keizer and told the businesses along River Road would be dramatically impacted in a negative way if the measure fails. The Keizertimes had an article addressing this matter (“A look at communities that booked the big box”, Feb. 18). The volunteers told me this article was right on. I read the article and the conclusion I came to was that the jury is still out on conclusive outcomes related to any negative impact to local businesses where a big box store was built or considered. The impact...

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24-314: Traffic, crime and groceries

By STEVE TEMPLAR Finally, ballot measure 24-314 is in the hands of every registered voter in Keizer.  This past year I joined several residents going door to door to discuss constructing a retail building in excess of 65,000 square feet in Keizer or restricting them to Keizer Station Area A. Seven out of 10 residents I talked with supported placing this measure on the ballot. Keizer residents should be aware of some fact and fiction as they make their decision on which way to vote for this measure. 1. Traffic increases in the immediate area for Lockhaven Drive and Chemawa Ave. have not been properly addressed. An increase from 4,200 to 7,200 vehicle trips per day is projected for the large format retailer alone. Additional traffic of an undetermined volume will be added for the balance of the development. I believe the total increase in traffic will overwhelm the main streets leading to the development and seriously increase traffic on neighborhood streets feeding Lockhaven and Chemawa. 2. Crime will increase in the area surrounding the development. Regardless of the amount of crime currently in the area – it will increase. 3. The overwhelming need for a discount grocer in Keizer is a myth. The developer has repeatedly used a survey of Keizer residents as proof of that need. I believe the survey was biased and conducted by the developer...

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Keep Keizer open for business

To the Editor: There are certainly many conversations, messages, and hype directed at measure 24-314 which Keizer residents may agree or disagree with through their vote. From the start, I have been torn by this issue and wonder how this decision will impact my personal and work life. How we decide will serve as a message and not necessarily as what will happen with Keizer’s opportunity for future commerce. Nobody wants to see lost jobs or opportunities. Our city and our country are experiencing a very polarized time. As we judge issues, trends, and regulations we must address intended and unintended consequences. Our leaders need to hear directly from local sources and we as citizens need to have faith in our government. Trust me, I’ve experienced and tried to listen and take back something good from all. My saving grace to the controversy is knowledge that I can choose first to vote with my pocket book and I encourage all Keizer residents to follow course. If we spend our dollars locally first the outcome of Measure 24-314 will not matter. Christine Dieker...

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