Of the Keizertimes

There was confusion aplenty about what could be talked about during the Nov. 5 Keizer City Council meeting.

The topic bringing nearly 50 people to council chambers was a public hearing for the Keizer Station Area C master plan remand. However, only two specific issues — a traffic flow study and about concurrency of buildings being constructed — were under consideration.

Opponents were left questioning which comments were applicable.

Councilors made no decision, voting unanimously to close the hearing but keep the record open until Nov. 13.

A council decision from April 2011 on the plan submitted by Chuck Sides of E Village, LLC was appealed to the Lane Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). The city was asked to do more review and modification regarding the traffic engineer’s analysis as well as the timing of a condition of approval requiring concurrency.

In September, Sides submitted a revised plan, with the proposed 116,000 square foot store being changed to a 72,000 square foot building with two retail spaces and 83 additional units of multi-family development.

That help cause confusion, as several didn’t know if they could comment on the changes to the proposal or not.

Nate Brown, Community Development director for Keizer, attempted to narrow the comments.

“Based on comments from the public, there is misinformation about tonight’s hearing,” Brown said. “Some believe this is a new hearing. This is not a new hearing. It is about LUBA and the issues LUBA found significant. Testimony should address those matters.”

Dana Krawczuk of the Portland law firm Perkins Cole spoke on behalf of developers Alan Roodhouse and Chuck Sides, both of whom were present.

“There’s been a lot of testimony about how the traffic system is broken,” Krawczuk said. “Those issues were not raised to LUBA. It’s too late to raise them now. It’s all about judicial efficiency. If you go to LUBA, issues are supposed to be more and more narrow so you can reach decision. The test is if an issue could have been raised and wasn’t, it’s too late.”

Charles Baker was one of several citizens bringing up traffic concerns.

“In the current plan, quite a few areas go down to two lanes,” Baker said. “I’m concerned about traffic. There are multiple areas where lots of lanes are transitioned down to two lanes. I’m seeing more people on bikes. What does that do to safety? Accidents are starting to be more prevalent. I see that as getting worse. I don’t think anyone is addressing that.”