Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: March 14, 2012

Forecast could chart city’s planning course


Of the Keizertimes

The city’s population forecast is subject to a public hearing tonight before the Planning Commission.

Community development staff is forecasting a 2032 population of 48,089 in the city of Keizer. That number will be used in a variety of planning functions, including determining how much land could be proposed for development and annexation into the city. It’s all part of the periodic review process that could eventually cause an expansion of the urban growth boundary. State law require a 20-year supply of buildable commercial and residential lands within the urban growth boundary – a line drawn around cities essentially dictating where they are allowed to grow.

Public input is sought, in large part, to get buy-in from residents at the ground level. The planning commission’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Keizer City Council.

“We’d like to vet this with the public and find out if there’s some angst or if they think it’s reasonable and plausible,” said Senior Planner Sam Litke.

A regional forecast prepared by ECONorthwest concluded Keizer would need space for some 2,800 homes within the next 20 years to meet projected demand, including 1,710 single-family and 1,177 medium and medium-high density housing units – equaling about 439 acres.

After a population forecast is adopted, the city will be seeking consultants to develop a local housing needs analysis – it will be more specific to Keizer than the regional one referenced above – and an economic opportunities analysis.

“It’s up to Keizer, then, to have that supply,” Litke said. “Everything in the regional (analysis) said we have deficits – We cannot meet our future employment needs and we cannot meet our projected need for housing stock with (the land supply) we’ve got.”

The forecasts are based on established growth patterns, Litke said. It doesn’t take into account the perception that Keizer has little land left inside its UGB for growth.