Remember to keep the vision

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KEIZERTIMES/File Photo

KEIZERTIMES/File Photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Would you like increased setbacks in your life?

Normally the answer would probably be no.

Members of the Keizer City Council, however, approved increased setbacks.

At a meeting last month, councilors approved by a 7-0 vote changes to the Keizer Development Code revising the ordinance for setbacks or vision clearance standards.

City attorney Shannon Johnson described what a vision clearance area is.

“(It) is a triangular area at the intersection of streets, or a street and a driveway, two sides of which are lines measured from the corner intersection for a specific distance,” Johnson wrote in a memo to councilors.

The triangle area for a driveway and street intersection is a 10-foot leg down both the street and driveway. For a street/street intersection, each leg has a 30-foot distance.

“The significance of this area is that it should be free of obstructions that might impede the vision of a motorist from turning onto one of the two streets,” Johnson wrote. “The code states that a vision clearance area shall contain no planting, fence, wall, structure or temporary or permanent obstruction exceeding 30 inches in height.”

During his presentation to councilors, Johnson emphasized the main reason for the changes.

“The purpose of this revision is to increase the vision clearance area along streets (arterials) that have higher traffic speeds, in an effort to reduce both the potential for vehicle accidents and increase the ability for motorists to see oncoming traffic,” Johnson said. “The proposed revision will amend the code to increase the legs of a vision clearance triangle for street intersections along an arterial street from 30-foot legs to 40-foot legs.”

Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, opined the changes should help ease a common complaint.

“This should help us with some concerns being expressed by the community of seeing oncoming traffic at higher speeds,” Brown said.

Councilor Mark Caillier wondered about clearance between alleys and streets.

“I’m okay with delaying this to the first of the year,” Caillier said.

This was said at Caillier’s last council meeting, something not lost on Johnson.

“If there is a delay, the new councilors will have to review the tapes on the conversations of this topic,” Johnson said. “I’m sure they won’t mind at all.”

Caillier shrugged his shoulders.

“I would more rather get this right than have a problem,” he said.

Councilor Jim Taylor expressed vision concerns with trees on Dearborn Avenue.

“Especially if you’re turning onto Dearborn, you don’t have any visibility at all,” Taylor said.

Bill Lawyer, Public Works director, indicated others didn’t have that problem.

“We haven’t had any complaints,” Lawyer said.

Responded Taylor, “You just had one.”

The changes were approved by the Keizer Planning Commission in October and then passed on to the council. No public comments were received in any of the meetings.

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