Hotel faces parking problem

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By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A planned hotel in Keizer Station already has parking problems, and construction hasn’t even officially begun.

Nate Brown, Keizer’s community development director, told members of the Keizer Planning Commission obstacles appear to be dissolving, but that conflicts between Keizer development code and a Operations and Easement Agreement (OEA) drafted by the the property owners recently threatened to stall the project.

Once the city completed a development review of the Holiday Inn Express Project, owner Cheo Tzeo had planned to pay a fee to expedite the project through the Marion County review process. Unfortunately, the planner tasked with reviewing such proposals was on a long vacation and it held up the process.

In the interim, representatives of Donhue Schriber, the owners of several Keizer Station area properties sent a letter to Tzeo stating his plans did not meet the parking requirements of the OEA and his application to construct the hotel on the property was being denied.

At issue was the number of parking spaces required.

“[According to OEA], businesses need to provide 4.75 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of space. Keizer development code requires one parking unit for every room,” Brown said.

By the standards of the OEA, the hotel would be required to have 242 parking spaces, while the city would only require 80. The submitted plans for the hotel call for 80 units in the four-story complex.

“We also have a cap [on parking] of 50 percent more than the minimum. We couldn’t even approve 240 parking spaces,” Brown said.

Donahue Schriber also took issue with the size of the hotel, which will clock in at 50,900 square feet. The OEA specifies a maximum of 50,000 square feet, but Tzeo was granted the extra space because the hotel helps the city conform with its housing needs.

“I truly think it was a simple mistake,” said Brown. “Keizer Station was planned to have mostly retail space and the language that was included to make sure there was enough parking for retail customers was mistakenly applied to the hotel.”

The letter prompted a flurry of phone calls to Brown who then became something of a go-between for the two private parties seeking to develop private land.

“Now that they’re talking, I expect it to be resolved quickly,” Brown said.

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