Month: January 2015

Area C proponents kept meeting with neighbors

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Before meeting with Keizer City Councilors last week, proponents of new development in Keizer Station’s Area C continued to meet with neighbors. One example took place at the Jan. 15 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meeting, as Brian Moore from Mountain West Investment Corporation talked about his company’s plans for 180 apartment units and Ben Settecase from Bonaventure Senior Housing talked about his company’s plans for a 154-unit retirement center. Company representatives had previously met with neighbors in a group setting back in October. They also met with some neighbors such as Kevin Hohnbaum individually, as well as city staff members such as director of Community Development Nate Brown, who was also at the GGNA meeting. Moore, director of Real Estate Development for Mountain West, noted he had been brought up to speed on the controversial history of Area C proposals. “There have been uses people were not excited about in the past, like Walmart,” he said. “This is not Walmart. Walmart is not involved at all. We’re developing the residential portion of it. The prior approval was settled by people like Kevin. We had helpful conversations with him. That approval we’re seeking to change as little as possible. It was a product of a lot of discussions and public process. We seek to honor as many of those commitments as possible.” While noting...

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Lady Celts bowlers win district

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes After leading for most of the day at the district bowling tournament, the McNary High School girls bowling team hit its first snafu in the first game of the finals match. “The whole day had been going really well. We were 300 points ahead of the second place team most of the day, and 500 points ahead of the last-place team,” said Lady Celt Hannah Russell. It wasn’t until the Lady Celts had to sit out for a game while the second and third place teams competed that the girls began to lose a bit of steam. “All we could do was sit and wait, and I think that’s what got into our heads,” said McNary’s Sierra Mo. The Celtics finished two pins behind McKay High School, 168-166, in their first finals game, but stormed back to take the district championship with a score of 183-135 in the second game. “We didn’t have as many strikes as we wanted, but spares make the game,” said senior KayLynn Hatfield. Junior Brittney Kiser said the team spirit is what carried them through to the big finale. “In past years, we’ve always had moments where we got down on each other. This time, we were just believing in each other all day long. I don’t know when we’ll have the chance to do something like...

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Rising at the banquet

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Things will look a little different this year at Keizer’s First Citizen Awards Banquet. The annual banquet starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at Keizer Quality Suites, having moved from its previous spot at the Keizer Civic Center. There will be a prime rib dinner and no host bar. Tickets are $44 each or $400 for a table of eight seats. Per usual, awards will be handed out for First Citizen, Merchant of the Year, President’s Award and Service to Education. Nominees for the First Citizen award are Rich Duncan, Richard Walsh, former mayor Lore Christopher, Don Conat and Mark Caillier. Merchant of the Year nominees are Keizertimes publisher Lyndon Zaitz, Joe Egli, Scott and Kalynn White, Shelly Paddock and Larry Jackson. The Service to Education nominees are Chuck and Krina Lee, JoAnne Beilke, Jim Taylor, Scott Coburn and John Honey. The different part ties in with this year’s theme of Rising to the Occasion. “You can bring someone in who will be recognized that night,” said Audrey Butler, president of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce board. “Maybe it’s someone you want to recognize. We will have small awards.” Christine Dieker, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce that puts the event on, said the idea ties in nicely with this year’s theme. “We are wanting to start something special with this rising to...

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Hurdles still to clear for Area C proposal

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Approval at the Keizer City Council level does not mean apartments and a retirement community in Keizer Station Area C are a done deal. After all, this is Area C we’re talking about – the area where a Walmart was reported to be going in back in 2011 before backlash led to the project coming to a halt. Previous decisions were appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), which forced changes to plans that at one point included a 116,000 square foot commercial space. The last commercial plans for the property were submitted by Chuck Sides in the fall of 2012, but ended up not happening. Mountain West Investments and Bonaventure Senior Living teamed up last fall on a proposal calling for 180 apartments (Mountain West) spread out over two buildings across from each other on an expanded McLeod Lane and 154 units (Bonaventure) in a facility ranging from one story in places to four stories in other places. The two Salem-based companies will also be taking care of infrastructure that can be used for future commercial development, including McLeod Lane being punched out towards Ridge Drive. Councilors waded through more than 500 pages of documents and approved the proposal last week. Brian Moore with Mountain West said he is hoping to break ground by mid-year. “It’s our desire to start construction...

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