By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
At a budget meeting in April, concerns were expressed about projected housing starts.
As it turns out, there was no need for such concerns.
Several new projects are either done or in the works for multi-family housing units, including an expansion of the Hawks Pointe Apartments and a couple of senior center facilities. That’s in addition to the upcoming apartments and senior center facility coming to an expanded McLeod Lane in Area C of Keizer Station.
And what about single family residential units? They’re being built, too.
Permits for new homes have been submitted to the city in higher numbers so far in 2015 than in recent memory.
“Last Friday we had 18 residential permits applied for in one day,” city manager Chris Eppley mentioned in a weekly update to staff and city councilors June 26.
Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, confirmed there were 18 permits applied for in one week, mostly in one day.
“It’s because the housing market has heated back up,” Brown said. “Keizer is a desirable place to build. It’s a favorable climate, since our SDCs (System Development Charges) are lower. Our SDCs are $3,000 and change, while Salem is $13,000 and change. But I suspect they’ve also had a bump. It’s not just because of the cheap price.”
According to data from the City of Keizer, there were 62 single family residential units applied for in the first half of 2015 in the city.
Of those, 31 were submitted by I&E Construction for new lots in Windsor Island Estates on Lydia Avenue, plus one more on Willow Leaf Street. Eight were submitted by Pacific National Development for lots in Avalon Meadows on Harbour Lane, with three more for that development on Explorer Place and two more on Taurus Loop, for a total of 13.
There were also five permits submitted for new homes in the Aldine Meadows subdivision on Aldine Drive.
“It goes in fits and spurts,” Brown said of housing starts. “When we have something remarkable, that prompts me to say something.”
That happened in mid-April during a long-range planning meeting, when Keizer City Councilor Brandon Smith questioned a projected housing growth of 1.5 percent, based on much lower growth in recent years.
“To me that seems aggressive,” Smith said of projections.
Brown responded from mid-March until that mid-April meeting alone there had been 27 single family home permits applied for.
“We haven’t seen those number for a while,” Brown said at the meeting. “The economy is picking up. People are recognizing Keizer is very desirable.”