Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"County planner sticks to his decision on shopping center"

Next stop: the appeal. From today's Lewiston Tribune:
Latah County residents had complained about proposed development near state line

Whitman County Planner Mark Bordsen announced Wednesday he stands by his original determination that a proposed shopping center development on the eastern edge of the Moscow-Pullman corridor poses no significant negative environmental impact.

Despite comments from Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney and Latah County resident Mark Solomon, Bordsen said the concerns had already been adequately addressed.

Legal notice of his decision, said Bordsen, will be published today in the Colfax Gazette. That will also trigger a 14-day period during which his decision can be appealed.

"The appeal must address why the final determination given here is in error or inadequate, and must demonstrate that the county decision of mitigated determination of nonsignificance is wrong," Bordsen wrote in his decision.

Only Chaney and Solomon have standing to file appeals, Bordsen said. A $500 fee must accompany the appeal.

The shopping center, proposed by Hawkins Companies, is reportedly to be anchored by a Lowe's home improvement center and other potential big-box stores. The 110-acre site butts up against the Idaho state line.

Bordsen's affirmation of his original decision comes after Chaney recently questioned yet another proposed development in the corridor. James Toyota of Moscow has proposed developing a 6-acre dealership about one mile west of Moscow into Washington.

As in the mayor's concerns with the Hawkins proposal, Chaney questions the environmental impact of a large automobile dealership, including a potentially detrimental parking lot. She recently told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News the parking lot might create a "heat island" that could warm runoff water into nearby Paradise Creek.

The city of Pullman has not objected to either the Hawkins shopping center or the Toyota dealership proposals.

In the comments about the Hawkins proposal, Chaney and Solomon focused on concerns about transportation, water resources, water rights, storm water management, wetlands, emergency services, land-use issues and others.

Bordsen, in a six-page memorandum dated Jan. 9, addresses each issue and gives his reasons for dismissing them. One of the more important items addresses groundwater availability. At one point, there was talk of Moscow exploring the possibility of providing municipal water and sewer service to the development. But that seems to have gone away after the developer decided to seek a water rights transfer to drill a well.

Chaney and Solomon registered concern the Hawkins well would be too close to a proposed new Moscow well. "If the city has an existing water right for its planned well site," Bordsen wrote, "that water right will fall within the scope of review of Hawkins' water rights transfer application by the Washington State Department of Ecology."


Satanic Mechanic said...

Since when did the Moscow City Council move from the hall and have their meetings at the famous leftist Moscow Co-Op? Looks like Moscow is heading for the toilet with this lot.

April E. Coggins said...

Moscow is really showing their hypocrisy when they use the water issue against us. The planned well that Nancy Chaney and Mark Solomon are so intent on protecting is meant to serve Moscow's new Home Depot.
Moscow is trying to act like they are leaders and stewards of our water but the truth is they are using all the water they want. According to the water target graphs on the Palouse Basin Aquifer site, since 1992 Moscow has NEVER met their water usage targets. They have EXCEEDED their targets by 763 million gallons since 1992. On the other hand, Pullman has never failed to use less than our target. Pullman has used 644 million gallons LESS than our target. WSU and UI have also come well under their targets.
Moscow seems to think they own all the water and they begrudgingly allow Pullman to share it.

You can read the full report here:
The graph is on page 19.

The PBAC web site is here: http://www.webs.uidaho.edu/pbac/

Tom Forbes said...

Yes, I can hardly wait to see Chaney explain how Homne Depot is "smart growth."

Surely they realize the tit-for-tat lawsuit coming their way if Home Depot decides to build in Msocow.