Of the Keizertimes

After delaying a vote by two weeks on the remand of the Keizer Station Area C master plan, Keizer City Councilors did so once again Monday night.

By a unanimous 6-0 vote, councilors directed city staff to prepare an order calling for the approval of the remand. That order will be voted on at the Dec. 3 council meeting – in theory, at least.

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.

On Nov. 5 councilors held a public hearing and elected to make no decision. The record was left open for written comments and written arguments from the applicant. Those items were discussed Monday evening.

Only seven audience members attended Monday’s meeting, a far cry from the 50 on hand two weeks earlier. The tenor of the documents matched what had been discussed previously. There was also similar confusion about what could be discussed and voted on.

“I don’t like the number of apartments and where they are, so I will vote against it,” councilor Jim Taylor said. “Can I do that?”

Nate Brown, director of Community Development, said the site plan could be evaluated.

“The layout of the site plan has been revised,” Brown said. “It is subject to your review.”

Taylor wanted to make sure he understood.

“Anything that’s a change, we can consider?” he asked.

“That is correct,” Brown responded.

Councilor Mark Cailier asked about the impact on the city’s stormwater system, an appropriate question given the heavy rain Monday that led to some flooding around Keizer.

“Is our stormwater system able to handle the addition?” Cailier asked.

Bill Lawyer, Public Works director, noted runoff from the development wouldn’t add to the already maxed system on Lockhaven Avenue.

“Area C goes elsewhere,” Lawyer said.

Brown has said previously the city has 90 days – or until Dec. 10 – to issue an order on the topic, based on the revised request being submitted Sept. 9.