City Council OKs tribal building plan

Construction could begin as soon as late summer on tribal owned land at Keizer Station, known as Area D, between Chemawa Road NE and the water tower.

The city council voted to direct city staff to prepare an order adopting a proposed Master Plan Amendment for that section of Keizer Station. The development, called Chemawa Station, is a project jointly owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz.

The discussed parcels are south of Ulali Drive, across from Chick-Fil-A and 7-Eleven.

The tribes plan to develop three fast-food restaurants, a coffee/donut shop, a sit-down restaurant, a brewery, retail space, a quick lubrication vehicle shop, a convenience market with a gas station, an automated car wash,  a tire store and a 92-room hotel.

Though the motion was unanimous to direct staff to prepare Master Plan amendments, some councilors were skeptical about results in the traffic impact analysis.

The traffic survey is expecting nearly 900 daily trips once Area D is completed. Council president Shaney Starr had questions about definitions, such as internal, pass-by and diverted trips. Planning Director Shane Witham deferred, saying the developers are able to address those questions.

Alan Roodhouse, working with the tribes to develop Chemawa Station, appeared before the council along with Siletz Tribal chairwoman Delores Pigsley to answer questions.

“We’re excited about Area D,” he said. Roodhouse also helped develop Area A of Keizer Station.

“This is a historic day,” said Mayor Cathy Clark after the unanimous vote to order city staff to craft the amendment.

Four McNary High School students were on hand to receive certificates in the Oregon Mayors Association’s If I Were Mayor video and essay winners: Hudson Brunk, Victor Ceja, Cesar Rodriguez-Delgado, Gwen LeDuc, Hailey Schwinof and Aiden Wilson.

In other action the council  voted 3-4 to defeat a motion to adopt right-of-way utility regulations changing the city’s franchise fee model to a code model. A public hearing was held at the March 20 council meeting but a final vote was held until this week’s meeting to allow further research.

At the April 17 meeting, Councilors Cross, Juran and Starr expressed opposition to the new fee structure with concerns such as how it will affect the finances of Keizer households

“A conversation about revenue generation for the city needs to happen in a broader conversation, that we look at everything all together,” said Starr. “The process matters,” she said, citing words from the late Oregon Senate leader Peter Courtney.

After the fee change was defeated Mayor Clark encouraged the other councilors to forward their questions and concerns to the city attorney.

A motion to direct city staff to draft an amendment to council rules requiring council liaisons to committees, boards and commissions attend meetings in person.

Mayor Clark offered a friendly amendment to replace a requirement to prefered. Starr, who made the motion, rejected the amendment.

Clark’s motion with her desired change was defeated 3-4. The original motion was passed 4-3.

A unanimous vote authorized the mayor to sign a letter of support of Oregon House Bill 3113 on behalf of the city council. House Bill 3113 would appropriate money from the General Fund to the Department of Transportation beginning July 1 for improving safety and increasing access to walking, biking, and transit on state highways that serve as community main streets.

The council approved adoption of its 2023 and 2024 goals and work plan. The long- and short-term goals are listed on the city’s website at

The city manager and city attorney were authorized to  work with The Lava Dome and For the Love of the Game to prepare a letter of intent for support of domed playing fields at Keizer Little League Park.

The council also authorized the city manager to initiate a request for proposals process to hire a firm to  recruit a city attorney to succeed Shannon Johnson who is slated to retire in early 2024.