Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, December 04, 2006

"PARD must move on in Wal-Mart debate"

I am so proud of Steve McClure and the editorial board of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. They showed today that the Daily News is a true community paper with this editorial:
When the city of Pullman adopted its most recent comprehensive plan back in 1998, Bishop Boulevard was one of the areas designated for commercial development.

In the years since, development has come.

There are retail spaces, a bank, a hospital — a good number of the things folks thought would appear in the southern part of the city. Adjustments were made to account for traffic and more people.

It wasn’t a surprise, it was a plan that was publicly debated over a period of several months before it was finally adopted by the City Council.

Retail and commercial growth was going to occur along Bishop Boulevard and near the intersection of Bishop and South Grand Avenue.

There was no caveat attached that declared, “except Wal-Mart.”

That’s why we let out an exasperated sigh when the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development announced this week it would file yet another appeal in its quest to keep a Wal-Mart Supercenter out of Pullman. In taking its case to the 3rd District Court of Appeals, PARD is dragging out a debate in hopes of finding someone to agree with their arguments.

We think the issues have been debated plenty.

Hearing Examiner John Montgomery listened to three days of testimony in January — plenty of time for members of PARD to make their case.

Superior Court Judge David Frazier took up the case and — after sending Montgomery’s report back to the hearing examiner for more details and explanation — upheld the city’s approval of Wal-Mart’s site plan and environmental checklist.

While PARD continues to play its anti-Wal-Mart games in the court system, we think the court of public opinion is ready to move on. Moreover, we think the community is ready to see some retail growth in Pullman.

In the weeks after Frazier issued his ruling, developers announced plans to add more retail businesses to Bishop Boulevard. Those businesses likely hope to capitalize on the traffic that PARD would like everyone to believe is bad but is actually the lifeblood of most retail establishments.

We think a good number of patrons in Pullman would like to do some shopping on Bishop Boulevard.
I'm sure we'll see even more angry letters to the editor, like from Joan Harris today, but Steve is right. Everyone in town, other than the handful of diehards, think its time to move on.

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April E. Coggins said...

It looks like the old Safeway building has been leased/sold. And I heard the name of another national franchise that is interested in locating in Pullman. I do not know if the two are related, but the business I heard mentioned would fit nicely into the Safeway building.

It's not just Bishop Blvd. that is seiing interest. There are two new retail and apartment developments that are being proposed on Paradise. If everything goes through, downtown will have a major facelift and there will be about a hundred new downtown residents and shoppers. None of this would have happened if Wal-Mart hadn't jump started the current economic interest in Pullman.

Tom Forbes said...

I heard the same thing about the old Safeway. It's a line of business that statistically does well when a Wal-Mart opens.

Barenjager said...

Hasta la vista, PARD. When the folks in your hometown newspaper declare you irrlelevant and a hinderance, perhaps you should listen.

April E. Coggins said...

PARD has never been about listening. They are all about talking. Their most productive day was when they showed up at city council with tape over their mouths.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

If PARD were listening they would have stopped this long ago. I think they enjoy the press they receive - good or bad.