Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wal-Mart: The Road Ahead

While attending yesterday's Knowledge Corrdidor Economic Summit (more on that later), I learned from local government officials what the plan is regarding a building permit for the Wal-Mart Supercenter and any potential PARD appeal.

PARD has 30 days to appeal Judge Frazier's decision. If they decide to proceed, the Division III Appellate Court in Spokane has 15 days to decide whether to hear the case or not. It is not likely any building permit will be issued by the city until those decisions have been made.

If PARD appeals and loses, the city and Wal-Mart have the right to request to be reimbursed for any legal expenses related the appeal, which could be tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, if the appeal will be legthy, PARD may also have able to post an appeal bond, which would equal to the amount of anticipated lost Wal-Mart sales, potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

For example, remember the story about the proposed Wal-Mart in American Canyon, California. Opponents there were forced to pay legal fees to the city and Wal-Mart after an unsuccessful appeal.

Prior to that appeal, the opponents had to post a bond:
Construction on a Wal-Mart Supercenter here will continue despite a court ruling that work should stop until two lawsuits against the project are settled in June, company officials said Monday.

The city issued a building permit to Wal-Mart for the new store on Friday, three days after Napa Superior Court Judge Raymond Guadagni granted a stay on preliminary construction for the project.

However, Guadagni ruled the stay will not go into effect until a $180,000 bond is posted by the group requesting it, American Canyon Community United for Responsible Growth.

The funds are meant to protect Wal-Mart from damages due to lost construction time if the lawsuits are resolved in the company's favor.

That security had not yet been delivered to the court by Monday afternoon, and Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Loscotoff said construction work will proceed until it does.

"We have all the appropriate entitlements and, until the stay is in effect, we will continue to go forward," Loscotoff said.

"Our customers and our supporters expect us to bring that Supercenter to them as soon as we can and we want to do that for them."
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1 comment:

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

Anyone want to bet on PARD putting a collection jar on Glenn Terrel mall for this one? Heh.