On growth: Transport impacts will be costly

If Keizer leaders decide to expand its Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), it’s going to come with a hefty price tag in regard to transportation. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Keizer Planning Committee recommended the city council accept a report, prepared by consulting firm DKS Associates, on the transportation impacts of expanding the UBG. At a minimum, it will cost the city $22,600 per additional car trip in the new areas and up to $48,000 per trip. 

Analysts compared options using units of cost-per-trip. Depending on the size of expansion, a higher number of new trips is generated and the overall cost of providing the infrastructure to accommodate those additional trips is divided by the number of trips generated. 

Carl Springer, a project manager with DKS, laid out the scenarios analyzed and their associated costs during the meeting. 

“We measured 25 intersections in the months before COVID according to the standards set by the city, county and state, then estimated what additional infrastructure would be needed to accommodate new growth,” Springer said. 

The city requested that DKS investigate two possible scenarios: one with a small UGB expansion of approximately 62 acres focused on industrial and employment zoning, and another that would incorporate and additional 120 acres for industrial and employment lands, plus additional space for up to roughly 2,000 single- and multi-family units. 

Here’s how the scenarios played out in other measures: 

Industry-focused expansion

The smaller of the two expansions would add an estimated 42 acres of industrial land and 19 acres of commercial employment lands. It could result in an additional 1,700 jobs for the city if built out to its maximum capacity. 

The expansion could result in an additional 350 car trips at peak hours and cost the city about $17 million in additional infrastructure. The cost per trip would be $48,000. 

Improvements would be needed primarily on River Road North and Perkins Street Northeast.

Multi-purpose expansion

The multi-purpose expansion would include 80 acres of industrial land, 40 acres of commecial employment land, 1,731 single family homes and 259 multi-family homes. The additional employment land could generate more than 1,900 jobs. 

At peak build out, the space could generate an additional 1,660 trips per day and cost the city roughly $36 million in additional infrastructure needs. The cost-per-trip drops, however, dramatically to $22,600. 

River Road, Perkins and Quinaby Road Northeast would need a variety of more intense improvements with the larger expansion. 

There are not plans to pursue either of the expansion scenarios yet, but the studies are part of the data collection occurring to inform future decisions. Before anything happens, Keizer would need to seek a number of permissions from state and county authorities to move forward. 

Both scenarios would also require an additional $16 million in planned improvements to be completed to accommodate the additional growth. 

Springer cautioned the planning committee to conduct a funding analysis before making any major decisions. 

“Not all $36 million would have to come from the city, but it also can’t be recouped only through development fees,” Springer said. 

Keizer currently charges about $1,500 in system development fees for a new home construction. Similar fees in other areas of the state where the UGB has been expanded top $20,000 per home and more.