Opponents appeal city, hearing examiner’s decisions
The Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development will challenge Wal-Mart in court at 9 a.m. June 22.
Judge David Frazier signed an order Thursday setting the date to hear PARD’s appeal. The appeal challenges the city of Pullman and Hearing Examiner John Montgomery’s decisions approving Wal-Mart’s site plan and environmental checklist.
Montgomery presided over the first round of appeals in January. PARD members, local residents and business owners testified for three days about the pros and cons of bringing a Wal-Mart Supercenter to Pullman. Montgomery decided in February the store could proceed, with the condition the retailer builds a traffic signal at the intersection of Southeast Bishop Boulevard and Harvest Drive.
Wal-Mart submitted its application to build a 223,000-square-foot store and 1,000-car parking lot on Bishop Boulevard in October 2004. Local residents formed PARD in January 2005 to oppose the retail giant’s plan.
Members of PARD have argued for more than a year that a Wal-Mart store in Pullman will drive away other businesses and create urban blight in the city. They repeatedly have called for the city to commission an independent fiscal impact study that would examine the possible economic effects a Wal-Mart would have on Pullman. PARD members argued such a study is required by the State Environmental Policy Act.
Others in the community welcome a Wal-Mart store and believe it will be good for Pullman businesses. Pro-growth group Businesses and Residents for Economic Opportunity formed in October to provide residents an outlet to express their support for Wal-Mart.
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