Day: June 23, 2014

Tow trucks to be in driveways?

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes By their nature, tow trucks tend to be big, slow and can take a while to turn around. Sounds a lot like the current tow truck parking issue being debated by the Keizer City Council. By a rare 4-3 vote, councilors on Monday voted to allow tow trucks under 19,500 in Gross Vehicle Weight to park in a driveway, assuming they fit in the driveway. So after several months of debate, the issue is settled, right? Not quite. City Attorney Shannon Johnson said allowing such vehicles to park in driveways represents a change in the city’s land use rules, which would necessitate the issue be taken up by the Keizer Planning Commission, which in turn would make a recommendation and send it back to council. Once the topic comes back to council, Monday’s tight vote could be different. Meanwhile, the somewhat related topic of response time to an incident – currently 15 minutes in Keizer – will also return to the council at some point. At the heart of the debate has been whether or not councilors should change an ordinance from 2005 restricting the size of vehicles that can park in neighborhoods. Current city ordinances don’t allow motor trucks over 10,000 GVW to park on public right of way on any public street. During several meetings, neighbors on the cul-de-sac at Clearview...

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Plans call for 120+ apartments

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Mark Grenz wasn’t surprised by the opposition on June 12. Grenz, owner of Multi-Tech Engineering, has proposed putting up approximately 120 apartments on the 7.5 acres along Verda Lane at Chemawa Road, the area currently known around Keizer as the “cow park.” The cows would no longer be at the property and work – including a new road and other minor infrastructure additions – would be done to make the property ready for buildings. “I’ve been doing this for more than 40 years in the Salem area,” said Grenz, a Keizer resident, following the public hearing for his proposal at Keizer Civic Center. The meeting attracted a standing room-only crowd in the council chambers. “People want things to stay as they are. This is what we face everywhere we go.” Grenz said his proposal got started with a request from the Herber family, the current property owners. “The family came to me and asked what is the best use for the land,” Grenz said. “There’s a small home and a farm house there now. We determined residential is not the best use of the land. This land is ideally suited for high-density housing.” Sam Litke, senior planner for Keizer, noted during the start of the hearing June 12 Hearings Officer Cynthia Domas will be considering a comprehensive plan map change, a zone map...

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