Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, September 29, 2006

"Pullman Approves Wal-Mart Supercenter Project"

Below is a news story that ran on KLEW TV in Lewiston. The video can be viewed here. You can see why if we ever start a talk show, Josh Coke is going to be the host.
Wal-Mart gets another thumbs-up to build a Supercenter in Pullman. Wednesday, City Hearing Examiner John Montgomery approved the project on Bishop Boulevard.

Representatives from Businesses and Residents for Economic Opportunity, or BREO, had a positive reaction. BREO co-founder Tom Forbes said he's relieved with the outcome.

"Obviously, we're pleased with his decision to once again approve the Supercenter," said Forbes. "We feel vindicated that several points that we've been trying to make as an organization were brought out this time by the hearing examiner's revised decision."

BREO Vice Chairman Joshua Coke said the decision for Wal-Mart to be able to develop in Pullman has more to do with land rights than politics.

"The largest reason is that we shouldn't be treating them any differently than any other retailer that comes into Pullman," said Coke. "They're willing to make an investment in this community and they've followed all of the proper legal procedures to do so. And, as the hearing examiner pointed out, it's more of a land use issue, and they've gone through all the proper hoops, and they should be allowed to build as they see fit. And, it fits with the city's comprehensive plan."

Coke also said a Wal-Mart Supercenter may bring Pullman the economic boost that Moscow has seen since the opening of the Palouse Mall.

"The Johnson Gardner impact study that was commissioned by Wal-Mart showed that we had somewhere in the neighborhood of $76 million being spent outside of Pullman that could be captured by Pullman markets if we had the retail base to support it," Coke said. "We believe that Wal-Mart coming in will be one of the first steps to make that a viable possibility."

The Pullman Alliance for Responsibility, or PARD was unavailable for comment. However, in a press release issued by the organization, Spokesperson T.V. Reed said, "Mr. Montgomery's decision is pretty much what we expected in terms of its conclusions. It is very rare for a Hearing Examiner to have the courage to strongly reverse himself in remand. What is surprising and disturbing is that the ruling was filed late, despite several more months granted to the Examiner to work on it, and was so full of basic errors that the Pullman City Attorney has asked Montgomery to make corrections and issue yet another revision."

The examiner's decision doesn't immediately "green light" construction of the Supercenter. On October 18, Whitman County Superior Court Judge David Frazier will hear PARD's appeal and announce his conclusion as to whether or not the Hearing Examiner's decision is adequate.
Technorati Tags:

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

You both were great. Joshua is amazing! We need to create more opportunities so that young people like Joshua can stay and live in Pullman.