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Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - Page Updated at 05:53:09 PM
Judge David Frazier dismissed the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development’s land use appeal against the city of Pullman and Wal-Mart in the Whitman County Superior Court on Wednesday.
The appeal stemmed from a decision by Hearing Examiner John Montgomery upholding the city’s approval of Wal-Mart’s site plan and environmental checklist.
Wal-Mart announced in October 2004 it wanted to build a super center that would include a discount department store, grocery store, pharmacy, garden center and tire shop under one roof.
PARD has been fighting Wal-Mart’s proposal for a 223,000-square-foot store since the group formed in January 2005. Group members have challenged Wal-Mart on everything from its business practices to possible encroachment on the adjacent Pullman Cemetery.
The group believes the Wal-Mart store would have significant detrimental impacts on the local environment, including traffic conditions, stormwater runoff, and noise and light pollution. The group also believes Wal-Mart would hurt the local economy by driving out small businesses and putting more people onto state-provided social services.
Montgomery’s findings to the contrary were not based on sufficient evidence, PARD argued.
Frazier ordered Montgomery at an appeal hearing in June to revise his decision and shore up his conclusions with more thorough reasoning and evidence.
Frazier decided Wednesday after about three hours of oral arguments that Mongtomery’s revised decision was more thorough and was adequately supported by the evidence in the record.
Although he said PARD raised valid questions and concerns about Wal-Mart’s proposal, he could not find that Montgomery’s decision was “clearly erroneous,” as would be required for the appeal to succeed.
PARD has the option to appeal to the Division III appellate court in Spokane.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
"BREAKING NEWS: Frazier denies PARD appeal of Pullman Wal-Mart"
From the Moscow-Pullman Daily News website: