Report: Keizer needs more land to offset resident-to-job ratio

A “regional imbalance” of high-value commercial sites in the Salem area leaves Keizer holding the short straw, a state-funded study says. The mood at a Tuesday, April 5 meeting with officials from the cities of Salem, Keizer, and Turner along with Marion and Polk counties at the Keizer Civic Center was civil and at times even humorous. But competing interests and philosophical differences sometimes surfaced nonetheless. It concluded with an agreement to go back to respective jurisdictions, decide what priorities are by July and meet again. And a set of proposed mitigation measures to address a commercial land deficit didn’t particularly impress some Keizer city councilors. Keizer has very little easy land to build on left within the urban growth boundary. Areas in an urban growth boundary are required under state law to have a 20-year supply of land to grow both residentially and economically. Salem and Keizer share a boundary, and the argument for years has been there’s land to grow on: It’s just all in south or west Salem. But consultants from ECONorthwest put somewhat vague notions into hard numbers as part of a study paid for by the Department of Land Use and Conservation. Full study results will be released in May but the numbers about our regional economy paint a dismal picture if you’re into the idea of working in Keizer: • Keizer has one...

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