As many of you know, the City Council of Keizer is meeting tomorrow to talk about the zoning change to the corner of Lockhaven and Chemawa Rd to allow for a 120,000 sq foot store instead of the currently zoned 10,000 sq feet.
This is a hotly debated issue since a store of that size is a Winco, Wal-mart, or Fred Meyer. The mere mention of the name Wal-mart can send people into fist fights these days.
Proponents want business and jobs to the area, while those opposed are concerned about livability. The area was originally designated as mixed use, with walking paths to make a more community feel to the area. A grocery store in really important to a retail development, since it drives residents to visit the mall. Keizer station currently lacks a grocery store, and the area that was slated for a grocery store is now occupied by Circuit City.
For those living on Chemawa Rd, traffic could increase exponentially as people head to this area. For businesses on River Rd, it could mean closing up shop. I for one am concerned about the proliferation of large corporate stores. Salem currently has 3 Wal-marts, two of which are superstores. I don’t think Keizer needs to add another one.
I wish our area could entice a Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Nature’s Northwest store to the area. I think the original vision of Keizer Station was a good one, and I hope the city council votes to stick to the original plan.