Livable: What does that mean?

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By JOHN P. RIZZO

The main opposition to the development of Keizer Station’s Area C comes from a group of citizens organized into Keep Keizer Livable.  The organization has given citizens encouragement to discuss, debate and present issues that may affect the quality of life in Keizer. This is how people should be informed and involved with their local government.

When I bought my home off Chemawa Road, south of Lockhaven Drive, I considered two primary factors; Will I be in the flood plain and what was the potential for growth, traffic and development? I knew the answer to both questions and growth was coming.

Keizer is a city at the major intersection of Interstate 5, the largest interstate freeway West of the Mississippi—the greatest route for interstate commerce, transportation, tourism and traffic in the western United States. There is no way that intersection was not going to be developed. If you didn’t consider that when you bought a home in the immediate vicinity of that I-5 interchange, you didn’t think far enough ahead for the quality of life you expected.

If your vision for a good quality of life is a small town, with little traffic, little development and quiet streets you should have considered a city that is not adjacent to the state capitol and Interstate 5. (At the least, you should have bought a home miles away from the freeway interchange.) There are such beautiful places in Oregon: Bend, Redmond, Burns, Lakeview, John Day, LaGrande, Klamath Falls, and other small towns depending on how much peace, quiet and lack of change you want.

Keizer is a well run city, it is going to grow and be developed primarily because of its proximity to Salem and the I-5 interchange. Development can be delayed but it will only cost the city, taxpayers and developers more time and money. It won’t be stopped! Citizens must continue to have input to insure that infrastructure, traffic and safety are all part of the equation. They must do that with the understanding that traffic, development and quality of life are all going to change. That is just what the future holds for the city of Keizer. It is no longer a small hazelnut farm but a thriving community.

The well managed development of Keizer Station means a stronger economy for Keizer and the region, more infrastructure and transportation  (the new transit center) local jobs, medical facilities, restaurants and housing. Many cities across the nation are having budget problems, with a lack of growth, lack of employment and even bankruptcy. We are fortunate to have this development opportunity. It may not be what we all want for quality of life but it is better than the alternative in a poor economy. Let’s make it work for the best.

John P. Rizzo lives in Keizer.

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