Grassroots Government

Traffic Safety/Bikeways/Pedestrians Committee

Meeting held: Feb. 15

What happened: No citizens appeared to make a public comment. The committee began proceedings with a discussion of the draft strategic plan for the city with council member and liaison Robert Husseman leading the conversation. 

The conversation covered how the strategic plan displayed the priorities of the Traffic Safety committee.

A few of those discussed priorities include: understanding how any city expansion would affect traffic safety and priorities, what Keizerites can do to work towards making the city greener considering a deteriorating situation in regards to climate change, as well as understanding how the emergency management process will unfold in the event an incident occurs within the city. 

Committee member David Dempster noted that many of the goals did not represent actionable goals in what was presented in that strategic plan goals did not put forth specific actions that could lead to those goals being achieved. 

The committee also discussed the revised project list of road work and projects within Keizer and their timelines as well as a proposed budget of those projects. 

A full list of the city’s current projects and their status can be found under the meeting minutes for the Traffic Safety meeting. 

The committee discussed a few upcoming projects within Keizer, specifically the Aurora-Donald Interchange’s open house as well as the Verda Lane ODOT project.

The Verda Lane ODOT project revolves around creating bike lanes, building sidewalks, realigning intersections, upgrading drainage as well as formalizing driveway accesses in order to create safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists. 

The project is slated for construction to begin sometime in 2025.

As of now, the project is ready yet held up, according to Public Works liaison Mike Griffin, though no reason for the hold-up was given though Griffin stated that money was not the reason for the delay. 

The Aurora-Donald project involves adding a full diverging diamond interchange onto exit 278 on I-5. 

The project began in 2022 when several improvements were started with the main portion of construction beginning this year and ending sometime in 2027.

The overall goal of this highway project is to help reduce the amount of traffic on I-5, making travel easier for commuters. 

For those interested, a more in-depth layout can be found at

Planning Commission 

Meeting Held: Feb. 21

What happened: The meeting began with a public comment from Salem real estate and land use lawyer Mark Shipman, who was representing Sandy Kerr, her sister Diane and cousin Karen and the 38 acres of land at 5710 Windsor Island Road they jointly own.

His spoke about the draft strategic plan, specifically item 3.8, which states that the city will review the Willow Lake agreement in order to create more developable land. 

Shipman noted that his clients supported this action item as well as the strategic plan as a whole. 

Shipman went on to note that the special district agreement needed amending and that the city would need to help change the settlement, though the cities of Keizer, Salem as well as the land owners would need to come into agreement and no changes could be made until all parties agreed to change the original agreement, according to Shannon Johnson.

The next public comment came from Keizer-resident Kathy Lincoln who spoke about the strategic plan. 

She noted that she agreed with most of the planning commission’s comments about the plan and would like to see more done on what Keizer will look like in 5-10 years, specifically by creating a larger and livelier downtown area, rather than expanding the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

The purpose of the meeting was to review the draft strategic plan as a whole and identify what needs to change as well as whether the plan identifies and upholds values important to Keizerites. 

The commission first discussed their understanding of the mission and values of the city that direct the strategic plan. 

Examples like “delivering excellent service” were brought up so as to better understand and explain what “excellent” is defined as, according to commission member Mo Avishan. 

Other strategic plan highlights the commission discussed include the Willow Lake Settlement (item 3.8), the sidewalk gap and repair program (item 2.1), update the transportation plan (item 2.2), complete River/Cherry Overlay District (item 2.3), develop a plan to connect the parks (item 2.4), updating the Economic Opportunity analysis (item 3.1) and reviewing the Willow Lake Settlement (item 3.8). 

The commission also reviewed action items, conduct outreach to growth areas (item 5.1) and conduct research and explore options for Urban Growth Boundary expansion (item 5.4). 

For the sidewalk gap and repair program, ideas for change revolved around changing the item to be in line to identify what sidewalks need repair or building as well as how it will be funded.

The River/Cherry Overlay item deals with the areas in Keizer the city wants to revitalize. The city has identified several places that would be best for revitalization efforts such as for building up an urban district. This overlay would also create a more robust urban walking area for pedestrians and help support a mobility and safety audit still needed. 

In regards to the Willow Lake settlement, the commission discussed how the area is able to be developed for farming and agricultural use though not for residential use as is the goal of the land owners currently. 

Planning Director Shane Witham discussed how making the land open for other opportunities via renegotiating the settlement, would benefit the city. 

The community growth action items, Goal five, the council explained which items would be important for the planning commission to focus on as well as how they might do so. 

Witham brought up expanding to North Keizer and how some of that land is in a floodplain though the commission could find land parcels not affected to bring in. 

Contact Keizertimes Staff:
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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