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Day: April 5, 2010

Council sells land, defers softening rules at Keizer Station

Keizer city councilors sold land and continued a public hearing on softening square footage allocation restrictions at Keizer Station Monday night.

Acting in a joint meeting between the Keizer Urban Renewal Agency and the city council, the group approved selling some 1.8 acres of land to RJMEW Investments, LLC. The land in question is at the northeast corner of Lockhaven Drive and McLeod Lane. Sale price was approximately $1.4 million.

The Council also continued a public hearing regarding a zoning text amendment to Keizer Station. It will allow the council more flexibility in allocating square footage among different areas of Keizer Station.

Specifically it changes the process: Currently, a property owner wishing to amend those square footage caps would have to pursue a text amendment, which requires hearings before both the Planning Commission and City Council. The proposed language would only require a city council hearing.

Area C – the site of a public battle over whether a big-box store should be allowed to locate there – is limited to 135,000 total square feet. Area D – controlled by a partnership between the Siletz tribe and Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde – is limited to 70,000 square feet. Area B – where the transit station and land purchased by RJMEW are slated – is capped at 80,000 square feet.

In addition, the compromise worked out at Area C – any retail square footage more than 80,000 square feet would require a corresponding amount of mixed use development – shouldn’t be affected, said Senior Planner Sam Litke. But the 135,000 square foot cap currently on that parcel would be removed.

See Friday’s Keizertimes for more details.

Christine Marie May

Christine Marie May of Salem died on Thursday, March 25, 2010. She was 36 years old.

Born in Salem on Nov. 25, 1973, She lived her entire life in the Salem-Keizer area. She attended Gubser Elementary, Whiteaker Middle and graduated in 1992 from McNary High School. She also graduated from Western Oregon University.

Growing up, she was active in Keizer Little League and junior league bowling at Town and Country Lanes. She enjoyed spending time with her immediate family, classic cinema, music, history, crafts and cats.

Ms. May was preceded in death by her grandparents, Gladys and Alfred Youngblood, and grandmother, Ruth Chase (Armpriest). Survivors include: her parents, Joyce and Steve May; brother, Bob May; future sister-in-law, Darcy Davis; nephew, Michael May; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services were held at City View Funeral Home. Interment was at Pioneer Cemetery in Salem.

Memorial contributions may be made in Ms. May’s name to the American Cancer Society or the Kitty Angel Team.

Transit wants to build in summer

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Officials with the Salem-Keizer mass transit system hope to start construction on a new bus center near Keizer Station by summer.

Steve Dickey, director of transportation development for Salem-Keizer Transit (SKT), said there’s approximately $4.3 million available to the district in state and federal dollars. The parcel – a spot between Lockhaven Drive and Keizer Station Boulevard, at the entrance to the shopping facility – is identified, and the district will eventually purchase the tract from the City of Keizer. [MAP: 2]

Its environmental assessment was approved by the Federal Transit Administration in February.

Now Dickey is waiting on appraisals as well as a master plan for Keizer Station’s Area B, where the station will be located. The asking price for the property was not yet available.

“We would love to get started this summer,” Dickey said. “Probably the biggest piece of what will make that happen or not is how quickly the pieces come together in the master plan.

If that happens, he said, transit riders could expect the facility to be open in “probably late spring or early summer” of 2011, he said.

Talk of a making the building dual-purpose – having part devoted to the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s tourism recruitment efforts – is just discussion at this point, but Dickey noted the strong support from the idea in some quarters.

“We’re very amenable to working in a partnership,” Dickey said.

Christine Dieker, executive director of the chamber, said having some sort of presence at Keizer Station is in the long-term plans for the Chamber. She doesn’t know yet for sure whether this particular arrangement is best for everyone – or how a satellite office for the Chamber might be paid for – but is intrigued by the possibilities. She said it’s possible that, should an agreement be reached, the chamber could move its entire operations there.

“There’s a shared opportunity to pool resources to build something beneficial for the whole community,” Dieker said.