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KEIZER, OR-The City of Salem remains the lone dissenter in an effort to plan development of 235 acres adjacent Interstate 5 and within the City of Keizer, which sits on the northern border of Salem, the state’s capital. The plan, which envisions industrial and sports recreation businesses and retail establishments gained support from Marion and Polk counties and the City of Keizer, but not the City of Salem, which may continue to play the spoiler’s role.

The deadline for a consensus was last Thursday. The lack of a consensus officially means Keizer now can do its own thing. Salem officials, however, fearing further deterioration of its struggling Downtown, have said they will reserve the right to appeal because any development there could be considered regional in scope. Keizer officials aren’t sure that’s the case, but neither were they surprised at the threat since the two cities have disagreed over the future of the property for more than 15 years now.

There are currently two plans to develop the property, which is owned by several different land owners. The Keizer Station Plan, proposed by developer Northwest National LLC, envisions separate retail, industrial and sports recreation businesses on the land. The city’s alternative plan, which was recommended by the Keizer planning commission in March, would increase industrial business park zoning and decrease commercial retail zoning.

Salem has lost several Downtown retailers in the past four years that have not been replaced, including two or three restaurants, a sporting goods store and a national fitness chain. Salem officials want more analysis of what impacts the development of Chemewa Activity Center would have on its neighbor to the south.

The City of Salem will hold two additional public hearings about the just-released staff alternative plan. Public comments on the plan are being taken until 5 p.m. June 7. The selection of one of the two proposals is expected later that month.

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