Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, November 21, 2005

Three Questions for PARD

A certain PARD member, after a prolonged and deeply-felt absence from the opinion pages of The Moscow-Pullman Daily News was back today wheedling again for an "economic impact study".

I have three questions that this person might be kind enough to answer in a future letter:

1. It was pointed out that data derived from a study applies only to that specific community. Why is it then that PARD persists in using "data" derived from "studies" conducted in other communities, such as the George Miller/House Democratic "study" and other such "studies" cited in PARD's position paper, to oppose a Wal-Mart in Pullman? For example, why would crime at a Utah Wal-Mart have anything to do with crime at Pullman Wal-Mart?

2. If an economic impact study were conducted and it proved that Wal-Mart would be beneficial to Pullman, would PARD fold up its tents and go home (or perhaps just confine themselves to opposing the Moscow Supercenter)?

3. The proposed Moscow Supercenter and the Lowe's rumor were brought up and it was suggested that Lowe's also be asked to help pay for an expanded economic study of Pullman, Moscow, Whitman County, and Latah County (which is a patently absurd idea as the communities involved have totally different and competitive tax bases). I'm curious. T.V. "Rerun" Reed tried a couple of weeks ago to influence the city council election by "announcing" that Target was "opening in Pullman". Gee, funny we've heard nothing about that canard since. Why shouldn't Target be asked to pony up for the study while we're at it?


April E. Coggins said...

A couple of weeks ago the State of Washington gave a three hour Planning Short Course on city and county planning. Cynthia Hosick and other PARD members who attended, were told over and over at the Planning Short Course, that niether Washington state or Pullman have provisions for requiring an economic impact study before granting a building permit. Still, PARD persists in mis-leading the public.

In the same letter to the Daily News, Ms. Hosick implied that the City of Pullman is still considering Wal-Mart's building permit. **sigh** As PARD and Ms. Hosick well know, the city has APPROVED Wal-Mart's building permit. PARD is APPEALING the approval. Is PARD in denial or are they dishonest people?

Tom Forbes said...

Good question April. I suspect it may be a little of both.

The study that EPS condcuted for Bozeman was quite clear: there is absolutely NO legal basis for any restriction or condition (economic impact studies, moratoriums, "impact fees", etc.) that a city places on a particular business and not others. In fact, such conditions or restrictions could be successfully challenged in court.

Pullman does not require economic impact studies for businesses opening here. To do so with Wal-Mart (or Lowe's or whoever) would be unconstitutional. I suppose nothing would please PARD more than to see Pullman sued into bankruptcy by Wal-Mart.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

Have we heard anything more about the appeal? I'm ready to start shoeveling dirt and moving those "trees."

Tom Forbes said...

SHW #1, unfortunately no. As far as I know, the city has yet to set a date for the appeal hearing.

At the rate we're going (glacial pace), it will be 2007 before we can do our Christmas shopping in Pullman. In the meantime, the roughly $800 the average family spends at Christmas will be exported again to Moscow, Lewiston, Spokane, etc.

April E. Coggins said...

The best case senario is a ground breaking in the Spring, when the ground dries out.

Pullman has some of the most stringent building codes in the State of Washington and we are more stringent than Idaho. It's a compliment that Wal-Mart is willing to locate here.

PARD wants even more requirements, including appointing themselves up as arbitors of every person or business who would like to locate in Pullman.

Meanwhile, the clock ticks and the dollars are rolling away as we give PARD the benefits of a free society that they would like to deny to others.