New uses approved for K.S. ‘jug handle’

A new fast food restaurant, vehicle accessory shop, gas station and quick lube may all be headed to Area D of Keizer Station in the near future. 

The Keizer City Council approved changes to the allowed uses in the Keizer Station “jug handle” at its meeting Monday, Aug. 6. The jug handle is the southern loop of Ulali Drive under Chemawa Road Northeast that allows drivers to head east on Chemawa toward Interstate 5. The green space between Chemawa and Ulali is the property in question.

The changes added permitted uses including tire, battery and accessory dealers, retail auto parts, automobile air conditioning services, car washes, lubricating services and several others. 

Alan Roodhouse, president of RPS Development Company, and Stacia Hernandez, chief of staff for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde both spoke on the requested changes. 

“If we were to bring a gasoline station into the area, a car wash could come along with that,” said Hernandez. The Grand Ronde tribes along the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz are co-owners of the property at issue. 

Prior to the change the site plan for the jug handle included only three sites, one for fast food, another for a gas station and a third for a retail tenant of some sort. 

Even with the change in allowable uses, Roodhouse said more were forthcoming. To make room for four potential tenants, a water detention pond on the site would have to be put underground and the site plan adjusted.

“We would have to submit those changes as part of the approval process,” Roodhouse said. 

Roodhouse and Hernandez didn’t mention many specific names during the meeting other than to say the vehicle accessory shop would be a “Les Schwab-type” retailer and that the fast food restaurant “is a well-known chain and I guarantee you will all like it.”

Before getting hopes up, it should be noted that Roodhouse is the same developer that dropped names like Burgerville when Keizer Station was in its early development stages and, instead, Keizer got a second Burger King location. 

The council approved the changes with a 6-1 vote. Councilor Dan Kohler voted against it, but didn’t offer reasoning during the meeting. 

After the meeting, Kohler said his vote came down to the type jobs such development creates.  

“We are looking for development which will produce living wage jobs rather than more minimum wage jobs. This is what we need to have, more people who live in Keizer, work in Keizer,” he said.